OKEECHOBEE — A local deputy was accidentally tased as he attempted to capture the man he was trying to arrest on Monday night, Jan. 4.
At about 11:45 p.m., the deputy reportedly saw Jonathan Hunt, 32, walking in the middle of the road in the 1300 block of Southeast 28th Street, despite the fact there is a sidewalk available in that area for pedestrian traffic.
The deputy stopped Hunt and asked him to identify himself. When he did, dispatch notified the deputy there were Okeechobee County warrants out for his arrest for failure to appear.
When the deputy attempted to arrest Hunt, Hunt reportedly pulled away from him and punched him in the arm. Hunt then reportedly fled on foot heading east down the sidewalk.
The deputy pursued him in his patrol car until Hunt reached a barbed wire fence and tried to climb it. When he did, the deputy deployed his taser and hit him in the back, knocking him to the ground, but as he rolled around, the wires were broken and he was able to get up and flee again.
The deputy loaded another cartridge and hit him in the back again, this time causing him to fall into a canal. As the deputy climbed the fence, his taser grounded to the fence, shocking the deputy rather than Hunt. Hunt broke the wires a second time and took off to the east again.
As more units arrived, they set up a perimeter along Southeast 18th Terrace. Hunt led the deputy on an approximately 2-mile chase through canals and ponds and a pasture. A second deputy deployed his taser with negative contact, and Hunt was finally captured and taken into custody without further incident after he just stopped running and turned around.
Okeechobee County Fire Rescue responded to the scene to remove the taser probes, and Hunt was transported to Raulerson Hospital to be checked out. After his release, he was taken to the county jail.
He was charged with escape, battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence. Bond was set at $20,000.