A Florida police officer flipped the hood of a Mercedes after a suspected thief lashed out at him while on the run from authorities.
A Sarasota police officer jumped up just before he was hit by a car on Monday night and was airborne when he was hit, according to a video released by the station.
He flipped the windshield of the speeding car and landed hard on the pavement.
The suspect, Mark Thomas, returned to the island in a white four-door S-series Mercedes around 9:00 pm after stealing items from another vehicle with a bird key earlier that day.
Police used the SUV as a barrier to stop Thomas from driving away from the island during the chase, but police said Thomas evaded one of the police SUVs before driving off. He allegedly punched a police officer.
The suspect was then chased by a police car before abandoning the Mercedes, officials said.
Sarasota Police Chief Rex Troch said the officer was taken to the hospital and is now back home. He said he and other commanders “gasped” when they saw the unsettling footage.
“We all gasped when we saw a police officer jumping four to six inches off the ground and really saving his life,” Troche said.
Troch noted that if the officer had crouched as the car approached, “he would have been run over…and this would be another conversation we have now.” .
Thomas, 22, of Plantation, Fla., was arrested Wednesday at probation in Broward County and charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and fled to escape safety. Both are felonies.
Police said the Mercedes he was driving was found near the Bird Quay car robbery around 2 p.m. and then again at Longboat Quay around 5 p.m. when the Range Rover was stolen. it was done.
Troche said the Mercedes was being tracked from South Florida.
He has been convicted of various crimes dating back to 2019, according to the Sarasota Police Department.
“This person needs to go to jail for what he did,” Troche said before the suspect was arrested. “He could have killed an officer.”