A 22-year-old man is being investigated after Fort Pierce police say he absconded with a patrol car Friday morning and drove to Vero Beach.
The man wound up driving into a residential yard and getting stuck, Acting Deputy Chief Robert Ridle said. The incident began about 5:40 a.m.
“He didn’t hit a tree or a house,” Ridle said. “He couldn’t drive any further and he willingly gave up at that point.”
Ridle said the incident happened as an officer was on his way to roll call. At Delaware Avenue and U.S. 1, the officer spotted the man in the intersection.
“He thinks he’s in some kind of distress,” Ridle said. “He didn’t know what the issue was, he just knew he had a man in the middle of the road, and that’s hazardous.”
Ridle said the officer stopped and activated the lights to stop other vehicles from hitting him.
“As he approached the male on foot, the male ran around the police car and went in through the passenger door, got in the car and began driving north on U.S. 1,” Ridle said.
The car stopped in the 2000 block of Nevarra Avenue in Vero Beach.
Ridle said the pursuit wasn’t a dangerous one, but did reach some “upper speeds.”
Ridle said there were no injuries and that the man was taken to a hospital for evaluation.
“He didn’t do anything with the car other than drive it,” Ridle said.
Ridle said the sheriff’s offices of Indian River and St. Lucie counties and Vero Beach Police Department helped.