Florida police officer thrown into air after being struck by driver of stolen Mercedes
A police officer in Florida was injured after a driver of a stolen Mercedes slammed into him head on, sending the officer flying over the hood of the car as the suspect sped off.
According to the Sarasota Police Department, police planned a blockade to recover the stolen Mercedes and parked their vehicles to block entrances and exits, but as the surveillance video showed, that did not stop 22-year-old suspect Mark Thomas.
In the dramatic surveillance footage, the car police say was being driven by Thomas is seen blowing past the officer’s SUVs and slamming into an officer, sending him flying into the air and flipping over the car’s hood.
While Sarasota police officers immediately followed the suspect in the car, the police officer is seen lying on the ground as another officer rushes to provide assistance.
Eventually, according to the video, the unnamed officer is seen getting up before he is taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The officer, whose name was not revealed, is expected to make a full recovery.
The Mercedes was originally reported stolen from a home on Longboat Key, in Sarasota County, at approximately 5 p.m. Officers responded to a 911 call that their white four-door S-Series Mercedes was stolen from their home.
Four hours later, at 9 p.m., the suspect is seen reentering with the stolen white Mercedes where police had strategically placed patrol vehicles at the entrance and exit to stop the Mercedes from leaving.
Following the dramatic altercation, Sarasota Police officers followed the Mercedes north on US 41 until it was abandoned in the 2900 block of Orange Avenue. When officers arrived, no one was in the vehicle.
On Wednesday, March 22, Thomas was arrested at a probation office in Broward County. He faces multiple charges including: aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer along with fleeing and eluding with disregard for safety.
According to the Sarasota Police Department, Thomas has a criminal history and was recently released from prison. His criminal history dates back to 2019 and include: multiple charges for Grand Theft Auto, cocaine and marijuana possession, and burglary.