OKEECHOBEE — A small child was uninjured after the vehicle he was a passenger in crashed into a ditch on Northeast 16th Avenue.
The man who was reportedly driving the car, Expavious Mills Jr., 25, was charged with child abuse, speeding, fleeing law enforcement at a high rate of speed and reckless driving.
On Jan.13 at approximately 1 a.m., Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Huffman was patrolling the area of the 2700 block of State Road 710 Southeast. As he approached the intersection with State Road 70, he noticed a blue Ford Fusion stop at the light. According to the arrest report, the car began to lurch forward as if anticipating the green light and then accelerated through the signal despite it remaining red.
Huffman activated his lights and siren and followed the car as it traveled through streets in the Northeast section of Okeechobee, running at least eight stop signs. As the vehicle attempted to turn onto Northeast 16th Avenue, the driver lost control, struck a mailbox and crashed into a ditch.
The report continues, a black male, later identified as Mills, exited the car and began running, with Deputy Horace Nicholson in hot pursuit. Huffman approached the vehicle and found a woman and small child huddled together on the front seat. The report notes the woman was obviously upset but refused to name the driver. The woman and child were uninjured.
As Huffman was speaking to the woman, Nicholson told him the man was running back toward the car, and Huffman turned and saw him approaching. The woman reportedly said Mills ran because the vehicle’s tag was not valid.
Mills was arrested without incident and transported to county jail. Bond was set at $14,500.