• Deputy injured when fleeing suspect rams cruiser


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - On Tuesday morning, Volusia County deputies were in the process of trying to catch two fugitives from North Carolina when an accident injured one of the deputies.

    Investigators told WFTV's Blaine Tolison that the deputy was deploying Stops Sticks when a car, driven by one of the suspects, hit his patrol car, which then then hit the deputy.

    According to investigators, the two were suspected of tying up a man in his home and nearly beat him to death in North Carolina.

    Investigators said the two then stole the man's truck, and when they ran out of gas in Holly Hill, they stole a car.

    Deputies said the driver of the stolen car, who is accused of attempted murder, led them on a high-speed chase through Holly Hill.

    "He was doing about a hundred miles an hour, almost T-boned a family in a car heading westbound on LPGA [Boulevard]. I mean, it would have killed them instantly," said an eyewitness.

    On Derbyshire Road, the driver crashed after officers put down Stop Sticks. Florida Highway Patrol Troopers said he clipped a car before slamming head-on into Deputy Jordan McDaniel's cruiser.

    "It was actually pretty loud, man. Pretty loud to the point that we had to come out the house to see what was going on," said eyewitness Harvey James.

    The cars in the accident were totaled. Some eyewitnesses said they were surprised that no one was killed.

    "This individual right here needs to spend the rest of his life in jail, putting all these people out here at risk and pulling this kind of stuff. I don't know what happened in North Carolina, but obviously he's running from something up there," said Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson.

    Deputies said the suspect is Jonathan Sweeney, 25, of Laurinburg, N.C. Investigators said he came to Florida with Brittany Smith, 23.

    Smith, who wasn't in the car at the time of the crash, was being questioned by police at the Holly Hill Police Department Tuesday.

    According to a Volusia County representative, McDaniel suffered a broken nose, along with numberous cuts, abrasions and contusion.

    He was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach where he is expected to remain overnight.

    The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has charged Sweeney with attempting to elude a law enforcement officer.

    A  Volusia County representative said Sweeney's charge was "elevated to a 1st-degree felony under the statute because the fleeing or attempting to elude was done in a manner that demonstrated disregard for the safety of law enforcement personnel."

    Tuesday evening Sweeney was being booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach

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    Deputy injured when fleeing suspect rams cruiser