A joyride in a stolen C7 Corvette Saturday morning quickly turned into a multi-agency pursuit of a Tampa, Fla., man, who now faces multiple charges after finally being apprehended in the Florida Keys.
Authorities say Yorlandis Perez, 34, has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and providing false identification to law enforcement.
The incident started shortly after 7 a.m. when a commercial truck driver reported that a white Corvette passed him illegally on southbound U.S. 1 near mile marker 27 in the Florida Keys.
Perez and a 26-year-old female passenger from Hialeah, Fla., were quickly pulled over by Deputy Ty Torres, but they appeared nervous and Perez struggled to find his driver’s license and vehicle registration requested by the lawman. That’s when Perez suddenly slammed the car into drive and raced away, eventually eluding the pursuing deputy.
Another Florida Highway Patrol officer then tried to stop the fleeing Corvette on the Seven Mile Bridge but eventually called off his chase for public safety reasons.
With the Corvette speeding above 100 mph, Deputy Andrew Calderwood successfully spiked the car on the north end of the bridge, but Perez kept going anyway.
Sgt. Mark Jones said the Corvette was traveling as fast as 150 mph in the center turn lane in Marathon before slowing down and pulling into a Publix parking lot at 5407 Overseas Hwy., where he and his passenger exited the vehicle and took off in different directions on foot.
At that point, the two suspects were being pursued by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Key Colony Beach Police and the U.S. Border Patrol.
Officials located Perez shortly after near an apartment complex. He initially provided a false name before admitting he had stolen the car in Homestead, Fla., and that’s why he fled, not because there was anything illegal in the Corvette. Another reason for fleeing: Perez was already facing six warrants for failure to pay court-ordered financial obligations from 2017 in Miami-Dade County, where he was on probation until Feb. 24, 2022.
Apparently the female passenger has not been apprehended, though officials say she faces no charges.
ABC Action News
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