Marion deputies stop fleeing driver during high-speed chase



MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Deputies said a traffic stop turned into a high speed chase in Marion County.

According to the Sheriff's Office, a deputy pulled over 31-year-old Travis Weaver after spotting him driving without his headlights on.

"It could've been something as simple as a verbal 'turn your headlights on, make sure you're wearing your seltbelt, alright have a good night,'" said Capt. James Pogue with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Instead, authorities said Weaver sped off and ran red lights as he reached speeds as fast as 130 miles per hour. A deputy was able to use a vehicle stopping procedure to keep him from fleeing any further.

According to the agency's policy, the decision on whether to pursue falls on the deputy's discretion.

"What's the time of day? How much traffic is out?," Pogue said are factors that play into whether to pursue a suspect.

"If you're coming up to what you know is a congested traffic area, if you know that they're coming up to a school zone -- all of these things are heavily considered," Pogue said.

The deputy also has to stay in constant contact with a supervisor to continue the chase. Some law enforcement agencies only allow pursuits if the suspect is wanted for a felony, but that's not the case in Marion County.

The deputy who arrested Weaver said he believed the man could have put more people in danger if he wasn't stopped.

Weaver was charged with fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer.