A naked man driving a stolen Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office cruiser crashed into the woods just off Interstate 10 on Thursday as a News4Jax crew watched the incident unfold.
News4Jax reporter Joe McLean watched the crash that happened off I-10 near the 348 mile-marker just before noon.
According to a JSO arrest report, a 22-year-old man was driving his roommate’s car and got into a crash. A Jacksonville police offer found him around 11:30 a.m. lying naked in the road on I-10 near Chaffee Road.
The officer stopped to try and help the man, who News4Jax is not naming because of mental health concerns. Police said the man at first complied with the officer but then “became combative” and ran toward the officer’s car and jumped into the driver’s seat.
A JSO spokesperson said the officer’s car door was closed, but not locked.
The officer was wrestling with the naked man, trying to get him out of the driver’s seat, according to JSO, but when the man started to drive away, the officer backed away because he was at risk of getting injured by the moving car.
The officer was clipped by the vehicle as it pulled away and suffered minor arm and back injuries but wasn’t admitted to the hospital.
The naked man drove the JSO vehicle erratically and it crashed into the trees a few minutes later.
The man, who appeared to be in a distressed mental state, leapt out of the driver’s side window and started screaming.
JSO officers were just seconds behind and arrived with weapons drawn and took the man into custody.
The man was taken to the hospital as a precaution and is believed to be undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
The man was charged with car theft, aggravated battery on a police officer, hit & run, depriving an officer of his means of communication (the car radio), and resisting police.