A 24-year-old Ocala man with a suspended driver’s license was arrested after he fled from Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies following an attempted traffic stop.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday, an MCSO deputy observed a Ford Sedan that was traveling southbound near the 100 block of Marion Oaks Boulevard. One of the sedan’s headlights was out, and the deputy attempted a traffic stop as the vehicle turned into the Marion Oaks Town Center Plaza.
The driver, later identified as Kevin Lamaun Nettles, refused to stop and drove through the plaza at “very slow speeds,” according to the MCSO report.
When the vehicle exited the plaza and turned onto SW 38th Avenue Road, the deputy activated the patrol car’s siren. Nettles accelerated in a northbound direction and turned onto SW 40th Circle. After driving several more blocks, Nettles jumped out of the driver’s side door and ran westbound behind a residence in the 13600 block of SW 40th Circle.
The deputy lost sight of Nettles, and a perimeter was established as aviation and K-9 units began to search the area. After an extensive search of the area, Nettles was not located.
During the investigation, a call for service was received in reference to a man matching Nettles’ description who was in someone’s backyard in the 13600 block of SW 38th Avenue Road. Upon arrival, the caller advised the deputy that a man, later identified as Nettles, was standing in the backyard with a knife.
The MCSO report indicated that the caller had fired two warning shots, and Nettles jumped the fence and ran away. The deputy, along with a K-9 deputy, searched the location, and an aviation unit was able to locate Nettles inside a screened-in porch for a pool that was located in the 3800 block of SW 138th Street.
When several deputies entered the porch, Nettles was found hiding underneath a tarp that was used to cover the pool. He was taken into custody without any further incident.
A computer search of Nettles revealed that his driver’s license was suspended on November 15, 2021. During an interview with an MCSO deputy, Nettles admitted that he knew his license was suspended. He stated that he did not stop his vehicle because he was afraid of going to jail due to his suspended license.
Nettles was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail. While the deputy was gathering his personal items, Nettles stated that he had marijuana in his pocket. A small clear bag filled with a green leafy substance was located, and the substance field-tested positive for marijuana.
Nettles was later released from the jail on $7,500 bond. He is facing a felony charge for fleeing a law enforcement officer along with misdemeanor charges for resisting an officer without violence, driving with a suspended license, and possession of marijuana (20 grams or less).
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.