Naked fugitive arrested after jumping from van

21-year-old sought on aggravated battery charges led police on pursuit

A dashboard camera in a Kingsland police cruiser recorded the chase and the fugitive jumping from the van and running into the St. Marys River.

KINGSLAND, Ga. - A Melbourne, Fla., fugitive was arrested in Kingsland after a police chase early Thursday morning.

Kingsland police said they located 21-year-old Matthew Ibarria, who was the subject of a be-on-the-lookout notice issued by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Police said Ibarria was wanted in numerous felony crimes, including aggravated battery on his grandparents.

Ibarria was reported to be driving a green, full-sized 1998 Ford Conversion van with Florida license plate No. 0957JR and was possibly staying in a hotel near Interstate 95 between Jacksonville and Savannah, police said.

At about midnight, Kingsland police said they found his van in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn on East King Avenue near I-95. Police said they approached the van and found Ibarria sleeping inside naked.

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When officers woke him up, he began to rummage around in the van and refused to open either the door or window, police said.

Camden County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Matthew Ibarria

Ibarria indicated he was getting out of the van from the driver's seat when he suddenly inserted the keys in the ignition, started the van and quickly tried to drive away, police said.

The van struck a parked Nissan and narrowly missed running over officers, then headed east on Georgia Highway 40 toward St. Marys, police said.

As officers pursued the van, police said, Ibarria first struck a marked patrol car and disabled it. Police said he then struck another marked patrol car, causing substantial damage to it.

Police said Ibarria swerved toward another officer's marked patrol car, and that officer's car, in avoiding the van, had a mechanical failure and was disabled.

Ibarria drove into St. Marys and turned down East Meeting Street, which dead ends at the St. Marys River public boat ramp, police said.

Just before the boat ramp while driving about 45 mph, Ibarria opened the driver's door, jumped out and rolled along the pavement, police said. They said he got to his feet and ran to the river's edge, then went north among some large stones. There he was apprehended by Kingsland and St. Marys officers.

Ibarria was taken to the Southeast Georgia Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released. He was then booked into the Camden County Jail in Woodbine on charges of aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving, failure to stop at accident scene and numerous traffic violations.

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