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Monday, April 15, 2024

Unlicensed driver leads Marion sheriff’s corporal on 130-mph chase

A 29-year-old man is behind bars after he allegedly led a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of more than 130 miles per hour.

On Thursday, the corporal was on patrol near the 10000 block of S U.S. Highway 441 in Belleview when a black BMW sedan was observed in the area. According to the arrest report, the sedan was traveling southbound at 83 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone.

No other vehicles were in the area, and the corporal conducted a U-turn in an attempt to pull over the sedan. After the corporal activated the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, the sedan’s driver – later identified as Christopher Anthony Santiago – briefly stopped his vehicle on the side of the road near the 5200 block of SE Abshier Boulevard, according to the report.

Christopher Anthony Santiago
Christopher Anthony Santiago, 29, of Sanford

Santiago then proceeded to conduct an “improper U-turn” before immediately stopping. As the corporal opened the patrol vehicle’s door, the report stated that the sedan “accelerated away at a rapid pace.” The corporal activated the patrol vehicle’s sirens and pursued the sedan from Belleview into the city limits of Ocala.

According to the report, the sedan reached speeds exceeding 130 miles per hour during the chase. When the sedan was near the 1400 block of S Pine Avenue, an MCSO deputy deployed spike strips on the roadway, which made contact with the vehicle.

Santiago turned onto State Road 200, and the pursuit came to an end when the corporal successfully performed a pursuit intervention technique (P.I.T.) maneuver on the sedan. The report stated that Santiago was removed from the vehicle without further incident.

A records check of Santiago revealed that a driver’s license has never been issued to him.

Santiago was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where he is currently being held on $11,000 bond. He is being charged with fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, according to jail records.