K-9 dog tracks down Ocala man after car and foot chase

Michael Lee Kendrick

An Ocala man was arrested on multiple charges after leading deputies on a car and foot chase that ended when a K-9 tracked him to his house.

Michael Lee Kendrick, 31, of 7431 30th Court Road, was charged Thursday afternoon with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer with lights and siren active, resisting an officer without violence, driving with a suspended license, failure to register a motor vehicle, and possession of not more than 20 grams of marijuana.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy, on routine patrol near 52nd Street and South U.S. Hwy. 441, ran the license tag of a small grey Hyundai and it came back with no record found. The vehicle pulled into the Kangaroo gas station as if it was going to get fuel but then left the pump without anyone ever exiting the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The car pulled back onto 52nd Street toward Hwy. 441 and then into the path of three cars that were heading south. The vehicle quickly made another lane change, at which time the deputy began to initiate a traffic stop. The Hyundai then changed lanes again, in front of a motorcycle, before speeding away, the report said.

The deputy initiated a pursuit of the vehicle with lights and sirens activated. In the 6000 block of S. U.S. Hwy. 441, the vehicle crossed over the median and conducted a U-turn in the northbound lane before quickly crossing the median again and traveling south in the correct lanes. The driver was beginning to drive carelessly but never at any great speeds, according to the report.

The vehicle turned east onto SE 73rd Street and continued until it crossed the railroad tracks in the 3300 block. After turning south into a front yard, the driver got out of the car and continued to flee on foot. The deputy provided a description of the man to fellow officers as he lost sight of him, the report said.

A K-9 handler arrived a short time later and was able to track the man to the home on 30th Court Road. The deputy knocked on the door and initially got no answer, but a short time later Kendrick came to the door with his hands in the air. The deputy identified him as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle, according to the report.

Kendrick denied being the driver. However, he made several incriminating remarks about how many officers were down by the car, although he couldn’t see the area from his location. A search of the vehicle turned up a black wallet containing a Florida identification card belonging to Kendrick. The search also revealed a small bag containing less than 20 grams of a substance that field-tested positive as marijuana, the report said.

A search of Kendrick’s driver’s license status revealed it has been revoked or suspended nine times since 2006 and was not currently valid. The vehicle was not registered, however it belonged to Kendrick’s mother, according to the report.

Kendrick was still in the Marion County Jail, as of Monday morning, on $4,500 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on July 2.