Around the Region for Feb. 2, 2014


Published: Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10:40 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 10:40 p.m.

POLICE BEAT

Man arrested after standoff with police

A Gainesville man spotted driving dangerously and refusing to stop for police was arrested early Saturday morning after a standoff of more than an hour, according to an arrest report.

Laquentin Johnson, 24, of 3406 SW 31st Drive, Apt. 24C, was charged by the Gainesville Police Department with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence, driving with a suspended license and fleeing an officer.

The incident began about 12:56 a.m. in the 3300 block of Southwest 34th Street. Officer Ryan Quinn wrote in his report that he spotted Johnson driving southbound on 34th Street and making a U-turn that took him into the travel lane of another driver, who had to brake and swerve to avoid a collision.

Johnson then pulled into the Ridgemar Commons apartment complex at 3611 SW 34th St., police said. Quinn reported that he put on his police lights and siren, but Johnson continued to drive through the parking lot until he came to a fence.

Quinn got out of his cruiser with his gun drawn. He reported that Johnson put his car in reverse and drove toward Quinn, who had to jump out of the way before Johnson’s car hit the police car.

Johnson ran to his apartment at the nearby Serenola Pines complex and slammed the door shut, police said. After a standoff of more than an hour involving numerous officers, Johnson surrendered and was arrested, the report states.

Johnson denied under police questioning that he was the driver of the car, which apparently belongs to his girlfriend.

— Cindy Swirko

Wheel detaches from car, causing accident on I-75

MICANOPY — An unusual accident on Interstate 75 on Saturday afternoon slowed traffic to a crawl while not seriously injuring anyone, according to Florida Highway Patrol officials.

Trooper Joseph Sims said the driver of a 1999 Saturn LS2 was heading southbound on the interstate in the inside lane when the right front wheel came off the car, sending the vehicle into the center lane, where it overturned.

The wheel that came off the Saturn struck a semi truck that was also heading south.

The Saturn’s driver, Guyton Register, 61, of Webster, was trapped in his vehicle and had to be removed by Marion County Fire Rescue officials, who cut a door off, Sims said.

Register was taken by ambulance to Ocala Regional Medical Center, where spokeswoman Suzanne Santangelo said he was listed in fair condition.

The semi driver, 41-year-old Chester Witherspoon of Lauderhill, was not injured in the incident.

The crash occurred near the Alachua/Marion County line.

— Austin L. Miller

Teen struck by car while jogging in Suwannee Co.

A 16-year-old McAlpin youth who witnesses say was jogging in the eastbound travel lane of County Road 252 in Suwannee County was critically injured Friday night when he was struck by car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Dean Edward Shingola was airlifted to UF Health Shands Hospital in critical condition after he was struck at around 7 p.m. Friday by a 2002 Chrysler 300 driven by Dakota Ray Bailes, 17, also of McAlpin, FHP said.

According to witnesses, the Chrysler 300 was traveling east on CR 252 and Shingola was also jogging east in the eastbound travel lanes when he was struck, FHP said. Witnesses said Shingola was wearing dark-colored clothing, FHP added, and that the front of the Chrysler collided with Shingola, propeling him into the westbound travel lane. No charges have been filed pending further investigation, troopers said.

— Staff report

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