LAKE CITY, Fla. – Three men were arrested Wednesday after guns were tossed out of a vehicle during a high-speed chase that was captured on two dashboard cameras, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said.
According to an arrest report, the incident began Wednesday evening when a deputy attempted to pull over a gray Volkswagen that appeared to be speeding and dangerously switching lanes along northbound Interstate 75.
The deputy noted in the report that the car he was trying to pull over sped up and began weaving in and out of lanes while passing other cars.
According to the deputy, the pursuit reached speeds exceeding 100 mph and the car that was being chased nearly crashed while passing a semi.
“Speeds at 113 mph -- vehicle is going to be in the slow lane,” can be heard in one of the dashcam videos.
The car then exited the interstate onto State Road 47 where, according to deputies, it ran through several stop signs to get away in Lake City. The pursuit got too dangerous, so deputies backed off and called in more deputies to flood the area in search of the car, according to the report.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said law enforcement officers have to make split-second decisions on chases like this based on time of day, weather and road conditions.
“Once that decision has been made, their objection is to stop this person at whatever cost," Jefferson said.
The report stated someone called 911 to let authorities know three men had ditched a gray Volkswagen near a Winn-Dixie parking lot and that the men were running north on Main Street.
Several people directed deputies to an area near a CVS store, where they spotted the men and began to chase them.
All three were eventually captured without further incident.
The three men were identified by deputies as 18-year-old Diatrez Anderson, 22-year-old Isaih Cox and 20-year-old Zakari Harris, all of Gainesville.
All three men are facing a slew of charges, including illegal tampering with evidence, illegal gun possession and marijuana possession.
Deputies said they believe the marijuana they found while searching the car was intended to be sold by the men.
Two witnesses named in the report who saw the gray Volkswagen speed down S.R. 47 told deputies they saw objects thrown from the car. Deputies said those items turned out to be two loaded guns.
When investigators ran a criminal background check on all three men, according to the report, the following came back:
- Anderson has a history of 27 felony and 12 misdemeanor charges, including burglary, theft, molestation and drug possession, the report shows. He was on probation at the time of Wednesday’s arrest, the report said.
- Cox has a history of four felony and 12 misdemeanor charges, including auto theft, drug possession, hit-and-run and illegal possession of a firearm, according to the report.
- Harris has a history of 14 felony and two misdemeanor charges, including burglary. He was on probation at the time of Wednesday’s arrest, the report shows.
While Cox was booked into the Columbia County jail on $47,000 bond, the other two men were denied bond because they were already on probation out of Alachua County.