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Deputies: Man who fled crash, swam to evade capture, arrested once he got home

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PALK COAST, Fla. – A 22-year-old man who sped away from a Flagler County deputy trying to stop him after he crashed into a utility box Saturday night, fled into the woods and swam a canal, but he wasn't on the lamb for long. The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said Tyler Sweeney was arrested early Sunday morning at Rainbow Lane home.

The driver ran after crashing his car on Rae Road about 11:30 p.m. The deputy chased the driver through a wooded area, but the man disappeared after jumping into a canal and swimming away. The deputy returned to the wrecked vehicle and noticed a strong odor of marijuana in the vehicle and searched the car. According to the arrest report, deputies found a backpack containing a Mason jar with marijuana inside and a bottle containing four pills later identified as oxycodone. Two more bags of marijuana were found in the trunk, along with a Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun with the serial number scratched off.

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Sweeney was charged with possession of 20 grams or more of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of an altered firearm, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, possession of oxycodone and driving while license suspended.

Sweeney was booked into jail and held on $12,000 bond.

“If you run from us, we’re going to find you, so you might as well save your energy,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a news release. “In this case, this guy went to jail very tired and wet, with more charges than if he had just stopped."


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