LABELLE -- In the early morning hours of Thursday, June 1, 2023, Hendry County deputies became involved in a high-speed chase leading them into Lee County.
Deputies received notification of a stolen vehicle traveling eastbound on State Road 80 in the area Captain Hendry Drive. Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle however, the driver of the stolen Toyota van refused to stop, turning around and heading back into Lee County.
The driver of the vehicle, later identified as 31-year-old Francisco Nicolas Lopez of Ft. Myers, fled from deputies at speeds in excess of 100 mph. At one point, the driver Lopez, did a u-turn, and directly sped toward one of the deputies’ vehicles and purposely crashed into the rear of his patrol car. The deputy was uninjured, and the vehicle was not disabled.
The chase ended in the area of Edwards Drive, in Lehigh Acres. Lopez stopped the vehicle then exited it leaving it in drive. He then led deputies on a foot chase where he was later apprehended while hiding in thick brush.
While searching the vehicle deputies found both cocaine and methamphetamine.
Lopez was arrested and transported to the Lee County Jail on charges of Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Fleeing and Eluding at High Speed with Wanton Disregard for the Safety of Persons and Property, Trafficking in Cocaine, Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle and Operating a Motor Vehicle with License Suspended 3rd - Subsequent Offense.