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Naples, Florida

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Florida police use dogs and helicopter to pursue fleeing suspect

A 46-year-old Florida man was charged with resisting arrest and possessing crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia on July 28 after allegedly attempting to elude law enforcement. The sequence of events began when a Naples Police Department officer initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Fleischman Boulevard and North 9th Street after allegedly noticing a bicycle being ridden without proper lighting.

During the traffic stop, the man allegedly gave the officer permission to search his person. The officer claims to have discovered a pipe in one of the man’s pockets that contained a brown residue. The officer later used a field-testing kit to determine that the substance in the pipe was crack cocaine. When the officer told the man to prepare to be handcuffed, the man allegedly fled the scene and ran toward a nearby wooded area.

The officer called the Collier County Sheriff’s Office for support when he lost sight of the man, and K9 units and a helicopter were dispatched to the scene. The man is said to have surrendered peacefully when officers warned him that the dogs would be turned loose. After he had been taken into custody, the man allegedly confessed to being a drug addict and told officers that he used the pipe in his pocket to smoke crack cocaine.

Experienced criminal law attorneys would likely advise individuals in situations like this one to refuse law enforcement requests to perform warrantless searches and resist the urge to flee from police. Agreeing to a search prevents defense attorneys from arguing that police officers violated rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, and attempting to elude law enforcement usually leads to additional charges. Attorneys might also urge criminal suspects to refrain from answering questions or making incriminating statements until they have spoken with their legal representation.

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