A 40-year-old Floral City man who fled through the woods from law enforcement officers Sunday crashed his vehicle into a tree, ran through the woods and reached his home before deputies caught up with him.
Alex Cleaveland Sr. was charged with several offenses and was transported to the Citrus County jail on $6,000 bond.
A sheriff’s office report said that around 9:40 p.m., deputies attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle for failing to observe a stop sign at Kabrich Lane and South U.S. 41.
The driver, later identified as Cleaveland, kept driving south in U.S. 41 to East Cooper Lane, left on South Sue Terrace and then right on East Jane Lane.
Deputies saw the vehicle wrecked into a tree at the intersection of East Jane and South Ripp terrace, the report said. They saw a man fleeing into the woods. While waiting for backup, deputies saw a clear plastic baggie with a crystal-like substance on the driver’s side floorboard, later identified as methamphetamine, the report said.
After learning through paperwork the identity of the driver, deputies showed up at Cleaveland’s home at 7450 S. Roy Terrace. When he opened the door, deputies recognized it was the same man who fled in the woods. He was wearing a yellow long-sleeve shirt and told deputies he just got out of the shower.
When the deputy asked Cleaveland to roll up his sleeves, he saw multiple scratches on his forearms and elbows, Cleaveland later told deputies he got the marks from running through the woods, away from law enforcement. He told deputies he ran because he had a suspended driver’s license.
Cleaveland was charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance, driving while license suspended or revoked, attaching an unassigned license tag to his vehicle, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and drug paraphernalia.