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Teen crashes car into HCSO

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A 16-year-old boy is likely to face multiple charges after he led Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies on a high-speed chase and then crashed the vehicle he was driving into the agency’s main building at 18900 Cortez Blvd. in Brooksville.

According to Deputy Public Information Officer Michael Terry, around 10:40 on July 8, an HCSO deputy spotted a vehicle traveling eastbound on Sheriff Mylander Way in Brooksville without its headlights on.

The deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop near Cortez Boulevard and Horse Lake Road, but when the deputy began to approach the vehicle the 16-year-old male driver made a U-turn and drove off heading west on Cortez Boulevard. When he approached the intersection of Cortez Boulevard and West Jefferson Street the teen driver ran through a red light, then sped north on Cobb Road.

In the interest of safety, the deputy stopped trying to stop the vehicle.

A check of the vehicle’s license tag revealed that the Toyota RAV4 was a rental.

At 11:27 p.m., less than an hour after the deputy initially spotted the SUV, the vehicle reportedly crashed into the west side of the HCSO’s main building near a rear entrance.

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When a deputy left the building to investigate the crash, the teen-aged driver exited the SUV, said that he wanted to harm himself, and shoved the deputy who then took the teen into custody without further incident.

Deputies contacted the boy’s father who told them that 45 minutes before crashing into the HCSO office, both father and son had been at the New Beginnings Youth Shelter located off Sheriff Mylander Way. While his father was inside the facility, the boy entered the vehicle that the pair arrived in and drove off.

The father never notified law enforcement that the teen was driving the vehicle because he believed that the boy was planning to return home.

A detective later learned that the teen had intentionally crashed through the east side fence near the parking lot and collided with the building twice, once on the west side of the building and on the south side exterior of the building. Total damage to the HCSO property was an estimated $16,000.

The teen was taken into protective custody under the Baker Act also known as the Florida Mental Health Act which enables family members or others including law enforcement to request emergency mental health services for a person who cannot or will not request help for themselves.

The boy will face multiple charges including fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief, battery on a law enforcement officer, and trespassing, Terry said.

He declined further comment.

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