A 25-year-old man will spend over a dozen years behind bars for running a deputy off a Marion County roadway in 2021 in an attempt to escape from police, causing the deputy’s vehicle to flip several times.
Dustin Howard Bowen was sentenced to 13 years in state prison on October 30 after he was found guilty of multiple felonies, including three counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, possession of methamphetamine, and leaving the scene of a crash involving injuries.
According to court records, Marion County Sheriff’s Office detectives were actively searching for Bowen on multiple felony warrants on January 13, 2021.
An anonymous tip eventually led detectives to a vehicle associated with Bowen at the RaceTrac located at 15 S Pine Avenue.
After the vehicle pulled out of the establishment and detectives began their pursuit, engaging their lights and sirens, Bowen sped away.
Bowen ran multiple stop signs and traffic lights while heading towards Interstate 75. During an ensuing chase on the highway, Bowen used his pickup truck to make contact and effectively force a deputy’s vehicle from the road.
That vehicle flipped multiple times and other deputies that were in pursuit veered off the road to render aid to the deputy whose vehicle was involved in the accident.
Bowen then crashed under the I-75 off-ramp to State Road 326 and was arrested.
Bowen, who is from Dunnellon, pleaded nolo contendere to all eight felony counts on October 30. As part of his sentence, Bowen must make restitution to the victims.
The verdict brings a close to a case that dates back nearly nearly three years. During that time, multiple attorneys withdrew themselves from Bowen’s defense, according to court records.