Jerrad Noel Wilcox, 22, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida following a high-speed chase by police. It is unknown whether he is represented by a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney. According to news report, Wilcox was wanted for attempted murder and two armed robberies. Following the police chase, Wilcox is now facing charges for fleeing, resisting, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, hit and run, as well as driving without a valid driver’s license.
He is presently being held on $174,000 bail bond.
According to Det. Travis Mandell, of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the chase took place after an emergency call reporting a robbery at 2500 block of Northwest 19th Street was received by operators. The chase began when Wilcox fled on foot after police arrived on scene at approximately 4 pm, Thursday.
Wilcox eventually made it to his car and the high-speed chase began. It culminated with Wilcox losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a utility pole on Northwest Sixth Street and 27th Avenue.
Wilcox was later taken to Broward General Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries before being detained at the Broward Country Jail. According to police, Wilcox did not appear to be Driving Under the Influence at the time of the chase.
This was not the only car chase that Fort Lauderdale experienced in the past week. Early Monday morning, a police car pursuing a burglar actually caught fire on the westbound ramp of I-595 mid-chase. The officer was able to escape from his cruiser unhurt and the cause of fire, which was concentrated on the back end of the vehicle, is still unknown.
The cruiser caused congestion during morning traffic, but the only casualty of the incident was the vehicle. Fort Lauderdale Police report being relieved that no one was hurt. It is unclear whether or not the thief, who broke into Giuliano’s Italian Restaurant at the 1900 block of Cordova Road was apprehended. The suspect allegedly stole a television during the early morning burglary.
One Florida car chase for the record books occurred in 2009, when two men suspected of robbing a 71-year-old man led police on an epic 30-mile chase all the way from Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach in their silver Honda. The would-be escape artists, Kyle Smith, 23, and Ivan Camacho, 24, were ultimately captured and caught. Police found a gun and a juvenile girl in the car, which raised question about possible child neglect charges, though no charges were filed to that effect.
Car chases get quite a bit of attention thanks to TV shows, movies, and video games that make them seem fun and exciting. In reality, the vast majority of car chases end in the criminal being arrested not just on their original charges, but also for attempting to evade authorities.
Such chases are extremely dangerous not just to the persons involved, but also to bystanders. In the case of Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372 (2007), the U.S. Supreme Court rules that a “police officer’s attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens the lives of innocent bystanders does not violate the Fourth Amendment, even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death.” In other words, police officers are allowed to put the fleeing motorist at risk of injury or death in order to end the chase.