Two Lee County deputies are recovering from injuries sustained during a traffic altercation yesterday.
Deputy First Class Dan Leffin (pronounced La-Feen') sustained injuries to his left leg and ankle and was treated and released from the hospital. Deputy First Class George Perez sustained more serious injuries and remains hospitalized recovering from his injuries.
During the afternoon of Tuesday, March 18, 2014 members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit were conducting a red light operation at the corner of College Parkway and U.S. 41. Deputies observed a red four door Buick disregard the solid red traffic signal and turn north on U.S. 41.
A motorcycle deputy activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle for the violation. The Buick failed to stop and continued into the Villas neighborhood in an attempt to flee from the deputy. As other deputies converged to the area, the driver of the vehicle, now identified as Travis Rashod Taylor (DOB 11/08/1984) of 2316 Davis St, Fort Myers, became aggressive nearly striking a motorcycle deputy and causing him to crash while on Chatham Street.
Taylor continued his erratic and aggressive driving turning onto Woodland Boulevard. For unknown reasons, and with total disregard for the safety of others on the road, Taylor crossed the grassy median into the eastbound lanes striking Deputy Perez head on throwing him from his police motorcycle. Deputy Leffin was able to avoid the collision by laying his motorcycle down in a controlled manner.
Taylor's vehicle, heavily damaged from the collision, fled from the scene leaving the injured deputy on the side of the road. He continued through the bank parking lot and ended up near the IHOP restaurant, where he bailed from the vehicle and fled on foot into the neighboring community.
Deputy Leffin was able to get back on his motorcycle and pursue Taylor through several backyards. As Taylor jumped a fence, Leffin's motorcycle struck this fence ejecting him from his motorcycle. Leffin was able to get up, continue in foot pursuit and captured Taylor bringing this violent encounter to an end.
Pictured below is Deputy First Class Dan Leffin (Left) and Deputy First Class George Perez (Right).
(Update #1 from March 19, 2014 6:38 a.m.)
Lee County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit has arrested Travis Rashod Taylor (DOB 11-08-84) of 2316 David Street A, Fort Myers. He is charged with Aggravated Fleeing/Eluding with Injury or Damage, Assault on an Officer, Attempted Murder, and Resisting an Officer. He is currently in the Lee County Jail.
An inmate photo and additional information is available on the Sheriff's Office website at www.sheriffleefl.org under the Crime Activity tab. Click the Arrest Search link and enter the individual's name.
Media inquiries are directed to Tiffany Wood, Public Information Officer, via pager.
(Original Press Release from March 18, 2014 9:50 p.m.)
On Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at approximately 3:29 p.m., while conducting a traffic operation near area of College Parkway and U.S. 41 in Fort Myers, two Lee County Sheriff's Office Motorcycle Deputies were injured by a driver who fled a traffic stop. The suspect drove through the nearby residential and business area trying to elude the Traffic Units and others converging to the vicinity. At one point, the driver collided head-on with one motorcycle resulting in serious injuries to the deputy. As the felon fled the scene shots were directed at the deadly threat.
Pursuit continued with the damaged suspect vehicle being abandoned in the parking lot of the International House of Pancakes. The driver fled with deputies closely behind. He was taken into custody after running between homes. The subject had not been injured. During the chase, a second motorcycle deputy sustained injury in a crash. He was transported to the hospital where he was treated for injuries and released.
Traffic was shut down in the surrounding area, while the scene was assessed. Traffic was opened at approximately 5:45 p.m., however, Eastbound and Westbound lanes of Woodland Boulevard are still shut down between Austin Street and Beacon Avenue for a few hours until the investigation is completed.
Names of the deputies are being withheld as the investigation continues. The other deputy is reported in stable condition after suffering serious injuries requiring surgery.
Updates will be provided via email.