An Orlando man is being held without bond in the Marion County Jail after allegedly leading Ocala Police on a high-speed chase in a stolen truck before crashing and trying to escape on foot.
Malik Darnell Bryant, 22, was apprehended by a K-9 from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office early on the morning of April 7 in the woods near the intersection of SE 138th Terrace and County Road 42. In addition to the charges related to the chase, he also faces charges stemming a gun and drugs found in the vehicle, according to the Ocala Police Department report.
While conducting a routine patrol in the area of North Pine Avenue and NW 10th Street, an OPD officer received an alert of stolen white Dodge Ram 1500 truck with a North Carolina tag traveling west on NW 10th Street. The officer observed the vehicle and tried to initiate a traffic stop by activating her emergency lights. Bryant failed to stop and immediately began to increase speed, according to the report.
The officer activated her emergency lights and initiated the pursuit, which continued on Old Blighton Road, 27th Avenue, 18th Street, and then back onto Old Blighton Road before proceeding onto southbound Interstate 75 at approximately 80 mph, according to the report.
Once on Interstate 75, Bryant reached speeds of approximately 130 mph, passing by multiple innocent bystanders. He then made an abrupt lane change and entered the off ramp for County Road 484 at about 115 mph. Bryant continued east on C.R. 484, where he ran through multiple traffic control devices as his speed surpassed 125 mph. He then turned south on to Highway 441 and then east onto C.R. 42, where he once again exceeded 130 mph, according to the report.
The pursuit ended when Bryant collided with an innocent vehicle that was traveling south on 138th Terrace. The stolen vehicle rolled four or five times before coming to rest on what remained of the wheels, according to the report.
Bryant and his unknown passenger then fled by foot towards the woods, where the K-9 ultimately caught him. A deputy confirmed he observed Bryant driving the vehicle and also observed him exit the driver’s side of the vehicle and flee on foot after the crash, according to the report.
Officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded Glock 27 .40-caliber handgun with 12 rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. The gun, which was found in the driver’s side front door, had been reported stolen by the Mount Dora Police Department. Officers also found 43 grams of marijuana, packed in four small plastic bags, and 10 grams of crack cocaine, according to the report.
A criminal history check of Bryant revealed he is a convicted felon with prior charges of armed robbery and burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. He also was on active felony probation in Orange County, according to the report.
Bryant was taken to Ocala Regional Medical Center for injuries sustained in the crash. He was then transported to the jail, where he was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony, armed possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft of a firearm, resisting officers without violence, and driving while license suspended. Bryant will answer to the charges in Marion County Court on May 7.