Cape Coral, FL - Handcuffed DUI At Crash Scene Escapes And Steals 2nd Patrol Car - High Rate Of Speed - Refused To Stop - Crashed Into Cement Pole - Serious Injuries

May 17, 2016

A south Fort Myers man is facing a dozen DUI and related charges after he escaped custody following being arrested at the scene of a two-car crash and then knocked down a police volunteer, stole his marked cruiser and led Cape Coral police on a chase that ended in a serious crash.

During a two-car traffic crash on Santa Barbara Boulevard, driver David Fernandes, 24, showed signs of impairment and was knowingly driving on a suspended license. Fernandez was arrested for the suspended license and placed in the backseat of a patrol car.

During the crash investigation Fernandes managed to escape custody. He exited a patrol vehicle and got into a police volunteer unit vehicle that was parked and running at the scene near the patrol car. The police volunteer ran over and tried to stop Fernandes but was knocked to the ground.

Officers called out an alert and followed Fernandes in patrol vehicles down Santa Barbara Boulevard to Cape Coral Parkway where Fernandes turned westbound on the parkway at a high rate of speed and refused to stop.

Fernandez eventually crashed the PVU vehicle into a concrete pole at SW 25th Place and Cape Coral Parkway West.

Fernandez sustained serious injuries in the crash and was taken to a local hospital. Police said Fernandes had a Blood Alcohol Content of more than.08.

Officers initially charged Fernandes with DUI, DUI with property damage x3, knowingly driving while license suspended or revoked, criminal mischief and escape, car jacking, grand theft auto, battery on a victim of 65 years or older, and fleeing to elude.

"We are grateful that the reckless acts of Fernandes didn't cause serious injury to anyone else. We have immediately tasked the Professional Standards Bureau to conduct a comprehensive review of the incident to find out exactly what occurred. Our full report, including any applicable recommendations for policy revision and/or retraining, will be available upon completion," Bart Connelly, Chief of Police.