OKEECHOBEE — On Thursday, Oct. 2, a stolen car was reportedly involved in a hit and run accident and later found in a canal. Joshua Bo Duke, 34, Northwest 27th Avenue, was arrested Oct. 7 by Okeechobee Police Detective Bettye Taylor and charged with leaving a crash involving injury and driving while license is suspended or revoked. Bond was set at $20,000.
At approximately 5:20 p.m. on Oct. 2, OPD Officer Ramon Liberato was dispatched to the 400 block of State Road 70 in reference to a hit and run accident. When he arrived, he found the driver and passenger of the vehicle which was allegedly hit (a turquoise two-door pickup) and they told him the vehicle that hit them had left headed eastbound. The passenger was transported to Raulerson Hospital due to injuries suffered in the accident.
An anonymous caller let them know the suspect vehicle dropped a woman off behind Suntrust Bank and then drove the car into a canal off Southeast Sixth Street. The caller said the suspect then left on foot. When Officer Liberato found the woman at Suntrust Bank, she reportedly said the driver of the car was her son and he took her to buy animal food and when the accident occurred, he left the scene and she asked him to let her out. She said she did not know anything else. Officer Jessica Francis responded to a call in the 600 block of Southeast Sixth Street in reference to a car in the canal. When she arrived and ran the tag, it came back stolen out of Glades County. Officer Francis made contact with a sergeant from Glades County who is working on the stolen vehicle case, and he told her Joshua Lamar Houston took the car without permission back in May 2019.
On Sunday, Oct. 6, Detective Bettye Taylor learned that Joshua Duke was at the Best Western Motel, and he was taken into custody without incident. The investigations are still ongoing.