110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Suspect was being sought by Sheriff's Office
By Pat Andrews
posted Apr 11, 2012 - 4:07:17pm
UPDATE 6 P.M. APRIL 12: DeLand police today identified the driver of a car involved in a crash the Sheriff's Office said happened as the driver was fleeing from law enforcement.
Injured in the crash was 32-year-old Sergio Escobedo of DeLeon Springs.
At last report, Escobedo remained alive, but in critical condition, at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.
According to booking information from the Volusia County Branch Jail, the incident on April 11 was not Escobedo's first contact with law enforcement. Records show Escobedo has been arrested 13 times, most recently in February for drug possession and introduction of contraband into a detention facility. In November, he was arrested on a charge of driving with a license that had been suspended or revoked.
In September 2010, Escobedo was arrested on charges of drug possession, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, and aggravated battery on a pregnant person.
The public record also shows Escobedo has previous charges of tampering with physical evidence, petit theft, aggravated battery, DUI with damage to persons or property, and more fleeing or attempting to elude.
His arrests go back to 2001.
The Sheriff's Office report on the April 11 incident said Escobedo's criminal history shows eight prior felony convictions, the latest related to the September 2010 arrest.
Investigators are still working on yesterday's crash, DeLand Police Sgt. Chris Estes said.
A reader "Marilyn" posted in the comments section of this story that Escobedo is her nephew.
"He is a good person and a father of 3 girls," Marilyn wrote.
What brought him to the attention of deputies April 11 was a call of domestic violence at the home he shared with a woman in DeLeon Springs.
Probation and Parole Services had contacted the Sheriff's Office requesting a well-being check at the house, because the woman, 23-year-old Claudia Estrada, had bruises and other signs of battery.
The woman told officials Escobedo had been beating her, but she was too scared to call for help, the Sheriff's Office said.
When deputies contacted her April 11, Estrada told deputies Escobedo had "head butted her in the face" after "an intense argument," according to the report.
Estrada refused medical treatment and refused to sign a statement form or accept a domestic-abuse packet for fear of Escobedo's reaction, she said.
Deputies took photos of Estrada's injuries.
Less than an hour later, Sheriff's Office dispatch alerted deputies of a call from Alisha Thompson of DeLeon Springs, who reported that Escobedo had carjacked her vehicle.
Thompson had escaped. She and another woman, Sharvia Giles, were following Escobedo on U.S. Highway 17. Escobedo had first attempted to take Giles' car, but she jumped out of the vehicle with her keys. Escobedo then showed her "a long barrel of a firearm" in a threatening manner, the Sheriff's Office said.
The two women lost sight of Escobedo, and the Sheriff's Office began to look for him. They spotted him in DeLand and tried to stop him, according to the Sheriff's Office. A few minutes later, Escobedo crashed into the sign at Lexington Club apartments on Plymouth Avenue, just west of State Road 15A (the truck route).
REPORTED APRIL 11: A car Volusia County deputies had been following crashed this afternoon, April 11, near the intersection of Plymouth Avenue and State Road 15A, seriously injuring one man.
The vehicle plowed into the Lexington Club apartments sign near the intersection. Emergency workers responding to the crash had to cut at least one victim out of the car, a witness said.
Because the crash happened in the City of DeLand, the DeLand Police Department is investigating it, the Sheriff's Office said.
The Sheriff's Office said that about 1:40 p.m. today, in the vicinity of North Hogle Avenue and North Stone Street, deputies spotted a vehicle they had been looking for earlier in the day in connection with reports of domestic abuse and a possible carjacking. The vehicle was being operated recklessly, the Sheriff's Office said.
"One of our deputies turned around on the vehicle and got behind it and turned on his lights and siren in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop," Sheriff's Office spokesman Gary Davidson reported. "When the vehicle failed to pull over, the deputy disengaged and turned off his lights and siren. A short time later, the vehicle proceeded through the intersection of Plymouth Avenue and Spring Garden Avenue and wrecked along Plymouth Avenue, in the city of DeLand."
A woman who arrived at the crash scene shortly after the accident told The Beacon two other observers on the scene told her there had been "a high-speed chase."
DeLand Police Lt. Jack Waples said a man was the only occupant of the vehicle, which was the only car involved in the crash.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Gary Davidson said the incident began after deputies received a call about domestic battery in DeLeon Springs this afternoon.
The unidentified suspect apparently took off to avoid deputies, Davidson said. The suspect tried to carjack one car, but its occupant locked the door, keeping him out. The suspect then took a car from a second woman.
Davidson said, "The victim managed to get out of her vehicle before the suspect drove off."
Both women know the man and believed him to be armed with a firearm, but it's not clear if they saw a firearm, Davidson said.
Deputies then spotted the vehicle in DeLand and attempted to stop it, then disengaged.
A short time later, the stolen vehicle crashed.
The suspect was the wrecked car's only occupant. He was airlifted to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, DeLand police Sgt. Chris Estes said.
Police have not yet released the suspect's identity.
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