An Ocala man pulled over for having his windows tinted too dark got more than he bargained for early Wednesday morning when he tried to flee on foot from Marion County Sheriff’s deputies – one of whom served in the Marine Corps.
Darren Eugene Stevens, 28, of 9810 Bahia Rd., was charged with resisting an officer without violence, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, opium or a derivative and Oxycodone.
At around 2 a.m., a pair of deputies on routine patrol observed a tan vehicle with unlawfully dark tinted windows traveling on Pine Road. They caught up to the vehicle as it was traveling at approximately 45 mph in a 30-mph zone and tried to initiate a traffic stop at the intersection of Cedar and Pine roads, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The vehicle turned onto Cedar Road with the deputies in pursuit with lights activated. The deputies “welped” the siren several times to signal for the vehicle to stop. The vehicle turned onto Cedar Tree Drive and pulled into a driveway on Cedar Tree Way, the report said.
The driver, who was later identified as Stevens, appeared upset at being stopped. A deputy told him the original reason for stopping him was that his window tint was too dark, and a test indicated the glass only allowed 16 percent of light through, which is less than the legal limit, according to the report.
While talking to Stevens, the deputy smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Stevens said, “I just got done smoking. There’s none in the car.” As the deputy asked Stevens to step out of the vehicle so it could be searched, a deputy trainee pointed out drug paraphernalia was in plain sight, the report said.
At that point, Stevens sprinted away and during the chase, Dep. Joshua Beccue shared some news with him.
“Buddy, I’m a Marine. I can do this all day,” he said, while also telling Stevens they already had his name and he needed to surrender.
Stevens eventually ran out of steam after about a tenth of a mile and collapsed in a nearby yard. He was then taken into custody, according to the report.
Inside Stevens’ vehicle, deputies found a baggie containing a white powdery substance, a tan powdery substance, a tan powdery rock substance, a white crystal substance, a bag of white oval pills and a cotton swab wrapped in tape, the report said.
The substances tested positive for cocaine, fentanyl/heroin, methamphetamine, Oxycodone and Phencyclidine (PCP), respectively. Also located in the vehicle were multiple different sized baggies, a digital scale and rubber bands. The cocaine and fentanyl substances were both packaged individually in small bags and prepared for distribution, according to the report.
The center console contained a Glock magazine loaded with 9mm ammunition. A Glock 19 handgun loaded with a full 30-round magazine was found in the trunk of the vehicle. A criminal history confirmed Stevens is a convicted Florida felon.
Steven was taken to Marion County Jail, where he was released early Thursday morning on $65,000 bond. His next court date hasn’t yet been set, jail records show.