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FHP: Car Theft Suspect Escapes Patrol Car

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – A 27-year-old Gainesville man accused of driving a stolen vehicle escaped from a Florida Highway Patrol car Sunday, prompting a search that lasted nearly an hour, according to troopers.

Troopers said they received a call about a suspicious person at the southbound Payne's Prairie rest area on Interstate 75 just after 1 p.m.

Troopers said when they arrived, they made contact with Larry Floyd, who they said was acting very suspicious and nervous while looking underneath a vehicle's hood.

Floyd didn't have any form of ID on him and was dressed in military attire, troopers said.

A trooper asked him where he was going and where he had come from, but Floyd couldn't answer them confidently, according to FHP.

Troopers said they did a check of the vehicle, a Ford Focus, which showed it was stolen out of Lake City.

Floyd was arrested, and troopers said they searched the vehicle and found miscellaneous drug paraphernalia, along with tools commonly used in stolen vehicle crimes.

Floyd was placed in a patrol car to be taken to the Alachua County Jail. On the way to the jail, troopers said, Floyd released his seat belt, opened the front right door of the patrol car and rolled out onto Williston Road, just east of Southwest 34th Street in Gainesville.

Troopers said Alachua County deputies and Gainesville police were called to help find Floyd. They said after a 57 minute search of the area, Floyd was located and taken into custody.

Troopers said Floyd sustained minor injuries when an Alachua County Sheriff's Office K-9 bit his right hand. He was treated and taken to the jail.