Deputies seek teen driver accused of hitting sergeant with car

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — An Orange County sheriff’s sergeant is out of the hospital after she sustained significant injuries when she was run over by a wanted teenager, Sheriff Jerry Demings said.

Sgt. Marcy Pearce was in the 800 block of High Street with a juvenile probation officer to take Jancarlos Ortiz, 15, into custody on outstanding pickup orders.

When Ortiz saw Pearce approaching, he started to drive off and hit her with his car, Demings said.

“He deliberately, as (Pearce) says, ran her down,” he said.

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Pearce ended up on the hood of the car and had to jump off as Ortiz sped away, Demings said.

When she hit the ground, she suffered a “significant” head injury that knocked her unconscious, along with injuries to a hand, foot and her back, he said.

"It just sounded like NASCAR (race) starting off. Tires squealing. It sounded like a high-speed chase," neighbor Susan Decapua said.

Demings lauded the probation officer who was accompanying Pearce for contacting the Sheriff's Office while the sergeant was incapacitated.

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Friday’s incident was not the first time that Ortiz has had a violent run-in with law enforcement.

Last October, he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing/evading, armed burglary, two counts of grand theft and trespass in a conveyance, Demings said.

Channel 9 learned deputies have responded to the home where Ortiz lives about 12 times in the past six months.

It’s not known if any of the calls were related to Ortiz.

Deputies filed four reports out of those 12 incidents.

Demings did not release details on Ortiz’s October arrest.

Pearce is a 22-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and her husband is also a sergeant in the office, Demings said.

She was in a lot of pain and had to have stitches in her head, but remained in good spirits, he said.

A female, believed to also be a juvenile, was in the car with Ortiz, Demings said.

“We don’t know whether she’s still with him or not,” he said.

Ortiz is not believed to be armed, but deputies consider him extremely dangerous.

At this point, the best thing for him to do is stop running, Demings said.

“Simply put, he needs to turn himself in,” he said. “He’s in serious trouble.”

Along with the juvenile pickup orders, Ortiz now faces a charge of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Ortiz was last seen driving a white Honda hatchback, possibly with black rims.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Pearce was released from Orlando Regional Medical Center Friday afternoon with non-life-threatening injuries.