Deputies stop fleeing suspect

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By Jeff M. Hardison


For the Pioneer

Levy County Sheriff's Office deputies ended a 31-minute pursuit that started in Marion County on Dec. 21 just before 10 p.m., LCSO Lt. Evan Sullivan said.

Larry Ray Griffis, 39 was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff's Office for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, felony fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief and driving while license suspended or revoked, Sullivan said.

The MCSO was involved in a pursuit and requested assistance when Griffis entered Levy County near the Whitehurst property just east of Raleigh, Sullivan said. LCSO Deputy Kevin Kinik and his partner K-9 Deputy Rossi, and LCSO Deputy David Rodriquez assisted in the pursuit.

Upon entering Levy County the defendant attempted to ram Kinik, who was forced to take evasive actions to avoid the assault, Sullivan said. Sullivan was also involved in the pursuit.

The defendant then turned around and went back into Marion County. Rodriquez deployed stop sticks and deflated the tires on the big Dodge truck, Sullivan said, at Northwest 160th Avenue and Levy County Road 318. Griffis kept going in a circle as Sullivan deployed deputies to create perimeter that formed a dragnet, from which Griffis could not escape. MCSO Air One was also involved in helping capture the suspect, Sullivan said.

After leaving the pavement, where the flattened tires were down to the rims and shooting sparks, the defendant continued driving on a horse farm and attempted to drive through a fence, where the truck became stuck, Sullivan said.

No injuries were sustained by deputies or the defendant, Sullivan said.

"All of the deputies involved in the pursuit showed great professional while dealing with a highly stressful and volatile situation," Sullivan said.

The LCSO has filed charges for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and the defendant will be extradited back to Levy County when Marion County charges are disposed of, Sullivan said.