MIAMI (WSVN) - A police pursuit of a stolen van that began on the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Miami Gardens ended with the arrest of a subject accused of committing sexual battery.
Before leading police on a chase, the subject, later identified as Jose Carlos Blanquicett, allegedly left a hotel after he had a dispute with another person. He then stole a van from a Toyota dealership in North Miami.
“The subject had an altercation with someone and he ran out of the hotel,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez. “He was able to run to a Toyota dealership, where he stole a vehicle that had the keys in it.”
7Skyforce followed above the van as Blanquicett swerved through traffic.
According to FHP officials, troopers initially attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the stolen Ford cargo van on I-95 in the area of Northwest 69th Street. The vehicle failed to stop and fled.
The van, speeding in and out of traffic, forced authorities to conduct multiple PIT maneuvers, all of which were unsuccessful.
At one point, Blanquicett struck a trooper’s cruiser before continuing on his escape.
Blanquicett abandoned the van on the ramp onto State Road 112 West and began running the on-ramp on foot. Around 2:15 p.m., he raised his hands and surrendered to officers.
“The good thing is there were no injuries and the subject was arrested, and he’s being charged with the stolen vehicle, he’s being charged with reckless driving, assault and battery on a police officer,” Sanchez said.
The van has since been towed away and traffic on the highway continued to flow.
On Wednesday morning, Florida Highway Patrol officials released the charges of his arrest; he now faces charges of grand theft, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, battery on a law enforcement officer, and sexual battery.
Miami-Dade Police said the sexual battery occurred outside of a mental health facility before he ran off.
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