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Man escapes from FHP trooper during traffic stop

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Posted at 8:15 AM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 03:40:08-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A handcuffed man ran away during a traffic stop while a driver who said his car was hit by a pickup truck the fleeing man was in was jailed for driving under the influence.

Kenya O. Smith, 24, of Chicago faces a charge of escape. He was arrested by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper Monday and booked into the Leon County Detention Center.

Smith's charges include DUI alcohol or drugs, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and theft of property valued from $100 to under $300. His bond was set at $1,250. 

Smith was a passenger in a pickup truck that the trooper stopped Monday at the intersection of U.S. 27 and U.S. 90.

When the trooper asked the driver to step out of the truck, Smith, who was a passenger, got out of the truck despite the trooper's instructions for him to get back into the truck, the trooper wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

As the trooper stood near the truck, Anttwan Le'Andrew Thomas, 28, of Tallahassee drove a car up behind the pickup truck and yelled out the window that the pickup truck had just run into the rear of his car.

The driver of the pickup truck ran from the trooper, who ran behind him down Call Street and then down Calhoun Street before losing sight of him and running back to the scene.

By then, the trooper said, he saw Smith trying to put the pickup truck into gear to drive away and ordered him out of the truck and handcuffed him.

While putting Smith in the patrol car, the trooper said he smelled alcohol about Smith's face.

The driver of the car, Thomas, told the trooper he had been drinking and  wanted to go home. Thomas, who was booked into the jail Monday on DUI alcohol or drugs, had difficulty standing, the trooper wrote.

As a Tallahasssee Police Department officer came to the scene and began to talk to Thomas, the trooper began walking to his patrol car.

Seeing Smith running east down U.S. 90, the trooper ran behind him but lost him at the Capital City Bank parking lot. The trooper left the pursuit to the Tallahassee Police K-9 unit behind him.

The police dog found Smith hiding in the bushes in the bank's parking lot, and Smith was handcuffed again. The trooper said Smith had been able earlier to get his right wrist out of the handcuff.

Law enforcement officers were unable to find the original driver of the pickup truck who had run away.

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