Homestead Police arrest ATV rider after half-hour chase

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Homestead police officer arrested an ATV rider who fled officers in Southwest Miami-Dade and led them on a chase that lasted nearly 30 minutes.

A police helicopter pursued rider as the suspect sped southbound, along a canal, through marshland and on a dirt path near the Everglades. Now, three teenagers are behind bars Wednesday night and face charges of aggravated assault and fleeing.

The suspect, wearing a black hoodie, was with at least two other teens driving ATVs erratically, at around 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, before the chase. Police tracked down two of them quickly, but a third ATV rider led cops on a wild chase through farmlands and pouring rains.

The chase stemmed from an altercation Wednesday afternoon in South Dade Park. Three of the teens allegedly assaulted a male victim and when he took off to get help, one of the suspects pulled out a gun, according to police. “Two subjects were apprehended by Miami-Dade Police’s School Board, and one subject continued fleeing into the City of Homestead,” said Homestead Police Detective Fernando Morales.

Police followed closely but cautiously as the driver was thought to have a gun on him. Police said the subject plowed into a patrol car and almost ran down an officer. “He was so close that he felt he had to climb a fence and jump out of the way in order to not be hit by the four-wheeler,” Morales said.

He then cut off the dirt roads to lose the officers that were following him. The driver continued to use fences and hard-to-access roads where police cruisers could not enter, but the police helicopter continued to pursue the rider, this time taking off back the way he came.

At one point, after at least 20 minutes on the run, it appeared the suspect drove into a ditch and seemed to surrender to police by putting his hands in the air. However, just 60 seconds later, he was able to get the ATV moving again and took off once again at a high rate of speed.

About five minutes later, he started slowing down and pulled to the side of the dirt road as police cruisers made their way back to him. He then got off his ATV and laid on the ground with his hands behind his back, where a Homestead Police officer handcuffed him and placed him inside the back of a Homestead Police cruiser.

Police believed the man was armed, so the officer approached slowly and with his weapon drawn.

It remains unknown if a gun was found on him.

The first two captured earlier were caught in two other locations. 7’s Skyforce was over the scene as one driver was caught near 280th Street and 182nd Avenue, the other near Southwest 272nd Street by the railroad tracks.

Police said subjects Brian Ponce, Zachary Rivero and Oscar Miranda, who are all 16 years old, are behind bars. According to officials, all three were charged with aggravated assault for an earlier crime as well as fleeing and eluding.