A Gainesville man who fled from police is in the Alachua County jail after causing property damage while driving a stolen car in Williston.
Mitchell F. Cooper, 31, of Northwest 13th Avenue, was in possession of a stolen 1978 Chevrolet as he was spotted by Lt. Clay Connolly, who tried to make a traffic stop at about 1:30 in the afternoon on March 30.
Cooper fled in the car, and drove through property in the 1000 block of Northeast 1st Avenue, doing about $250 damage to foliage in the yard. He continued at a high rate of speed down 1st Avenue, a narrow street occupied by small children. He ran two stop signs, according to the report, at the corners of Northeast 11th Street and County Road 331A.
He then drove, police said, into the New York subdivision, again destroying foliage, got out and fled on foot. He abandoned the car with the engine running, and there was no key in the ignition since that had apparently been bypassed.
Cooper was picked out of a photo array by a witness back at the house where he allegedly did the damage.
Investigator James Bond said that fingerprints showed he was in the car.
He was arrested in Alachua County on March 31 on a violation of probation warrant, and Bond went to the Alachua County Jail and arrested him on the Levy County charges of vehicle theft, reckless driving, criminal mischief, fleeing to elude police and driving while license was suspended.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections Web site, Cooper was arrested in Columbia County for burglary of an occupied dwelling, grand theft firearm and trafficking in stolen property in 1996. He was sentenced in 1998 and was released in 2000.
He was arrested in Levy County in 2005 for trafficking in stolen property, jailed, and then released in 2006. He was under community supervision in Alachua County for various offenses, some domestic, in 2007.
In other arrests announced by the Williston Police Department:
Lee C. Lewis Jr., 21, of Northeast 37th Place, Williston, was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana and driving while license suspended or revoked after he was stopped for running a stop sign. Officers detected a smell of marijuana and were alerted to the drugs by a K9 unit.
Terrance T. Marshall, 19, of Southwest 6th Avenue, Williston, was charged with possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana after he was stopped for speeding. A K9 unit alerted officers to the drug in the vehicle.
David H. Burcham, 51, of West Allis, Wis., was charged with driving while license revoked, with knowledge, after he was stopped for speeding in a school zone.
Manuel Anuar, 30, of 2nd Street, Williston, was charged with driving with a license suspended from another state after being stopped for running a stop sign.
Espionosa Genardo Garcia, 30, of Northeast 210th Avenue, Williston, was charged with no driver’s license after he was stopped for driving the wrong way on a one-way street, Northeast 1st Avenue just off Main Street.
Darrell L. Deen, 42, of Ladson, S.C., was arrested on an Indian River County warrant for violation of probation.