Man tased after 100-mph police chase through Ocala

Mark Anthony Chirasello

An Ocala man was tased while being apprehended after a high-speed chase that exceeded 100 mph on Monday night.

Mark Anthony Chirasello, 49, of 1853 SE 18th Ave #806, is being held in the Marion County Jail on charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement at a high speed, driving with a suspended license, and resisting an officer without violence.

An Ocala Police officer was behind Chirasello’s red Toyota Prius at a traffic light at Martin Luther King Avenue and State Road 40 when, upon the light turning green, Chirasello accelerated rapidly southbound on MLK Avenue. While pacing Chirasello’s speed, the officer observed Chirasello’s vehicle start to cross the center line and nearly enter the northbound lane. He was traveling 60 mph in a 35-mph zone at that point, according to the police report.

The officer tried to initiate a traffic stop by turning on his emergency lights, but Chirasello continued to accelerate away and turned east onto SW 3rd Street. The officer activated his siren and continued to pursue Chirasello, whose vehicle at one point became airborne over railroad tracks and almost caused a crash, the report said.

Chirasello turned south onto South Pine Avenue, continuing until reaching the CVS parking lot in the 1700 block. At that point, he cut through the lot and turned north onto SW 1st Avenue, east onto SW 1st Street, and then south onto SE 3rd Avenue, all while ignoring emergency vehicles trying to initiate the traffic stop, according to the report.

Chirasello then avoided all posted traffic signals as he turned east onto SE 17th Street. He accelerated to speeds of over 100 mph before his tires went flat from hitting a raised concrete median. The vehicle came to a stop in the 1600 block of SE 17th Street, the report said.

Chirasello then got out of the vehicle and ran on foot towards the Deer Run apartment complex, ignoring the officer’s orders to stop. The officer fired one taser cartridge containing two darts in Chirasello’s direction, but one of the darts missed and he continued to flee. The officer then fired a second cartridge, with both darts contacting Chirasello’s right shoulder and slowing him down, according to the report.

At that point, three officers grabbed Chirasello and escorted him to the ground. Chirasello remained silent when officers asked for his identity before spontaneously saying “front pocket,” where an officer found a Washington driver’s license. Chirasello then said the license wasn’t valid. He was taken by EMS to Ocala Regional Medical Center to be evaluated for any injuries sustained in the incident.

A records search showed Chirasello has multiple criminal license suspensions dating back to 1987 out of multiple states. Once cleared at the hospital, he was taken to the jail, where he’s being held on $8,000 bond. Chirasello will appear in Marion County Court on July 16.