53ºF

Police: Reckless driver arrested in stolen truck

Man led police on chase, drove into house, had to be Tased twice, police say

Alachua County booking photo of Thomas Wright
Alachua County booking photo of Thomas Wright

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A 34-year-old Gainesville man was arrested early Tuesday after he was caught driving recklessly in a stolen truck, the Gainesville Police Department said.

Thomas Wright was charged with grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing police, resisting an officer, drug possession, leaving the scene of a crash involving damaged property and knowingly driving on a suspended license.

GPD said two officers saw a maroon truck run a red light and then hit a curb. One of the officers recognized that the truck matched the description of a vehicle reported stolen. After calling in the tag to confirm it was the stolen truck, the officer attempted to stop the truck, and the driver sped off.

The officer pursued the truck, and the driver, later identified as Wright, lost control on a left turn, crashing into a brick house on SW 8th Avenue, police said.

Wright got out of the truck and ran away on foot as the officers chased him, yelling at him to stop, police said.
According to GPD, Wright had his right hand across his waist inside his jacket as he ran and did not obey the officers' command to show his hands.

One of the officers used a Taser on Wright, who fell to the ground. But he still refused to release his hands from under his body, so the officer deployed his Taser again, police said.

Wright then surrendered his hands and was handcuffed.

Police said Wright had multiple cellphones, chargers, a GPS, and other items on his person, along with a crack pipe. There were also numerous items in the stolen truck that did not belong to the owner of the truck.

Police believe that Wright may be responsible for some recent residential and vehicle burglaries in the area. The investigation into that continues.