Suspect steals, crashes volunteer police cruiser

Posted at 1:11 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 23:28:12-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- A DUI crash investigation escalated quickly to a carjacking and chase that left one man seriously injured Monday night.

In a story we've been following overnight, we now know that 24-year-old David Fernandes of Fort Myers is in the hospital and facing charges of DUI with property damage, driving with license suspended or revoked, criminal mischief and escape, and carjacking, among others.

According to Cape Coral Police, Fernandez was arrested after a two-vehicle crash in the 4600 block of Santa Barbara Boulevard, a few blocks north of Cape Coral Parkway.

While authorities investigated the crash, Fernandes escaped custody and made a run for a volunteer patrol car, knocking over a Police Volunteer that tried to stop him.  Fernandes drove off in the patrol car, headed south, and turned west on Cape Coral Parkway.

He eventually crashed into a concrete pole at SW 25th Place. "It was like a loud smash," said one witness. "We just turned back and I could see the cop car in the rear view."

Fernandes was trauma alerted to the hospital, where it was determined that he had a BAC over the legal driving limit.

He is under police surveillance at the hospital until his release.

His mugshot pictured here is from an April 2015 arrest for DUI in Fort Myers.

Debris can still be seen at the sight of the crash, and homeowners are waiting for it to be cleaned up. Doug Rosin, who lives on the corner of the crash said the pole first bothered him and his wife when they moved into the house, but now, they're thankful it's there. "Now after this, having the pole there, I'm glad that it was there," he said.