ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The search continues for a teenager who faces an attempted murder charge after authorities said he deliberately ran over an Orange County deputy. The deputy, Sgt. Marcy Pearce, had an order to take the teen into custody on Friday morning.
"I heard it out here this morning, I thought NASCAR started early. The tires were squealing," said Susan Decapua, who lives on High Street, just a few blocks north of Colonial Drive in cast Orange County. Neighbor Richardo Orewlano said, "It was like a screeching car peeling out."
No one knew that, at that moment, a deputy had been hit by a vehicle. Sheriff Jerry Demings said law enforcement officers are now looking for the 15-year-old suspect, Jan Carlos Ortiz, and his white Honda hatchback.
"He deliberately ran over her as she was approaching the vehicle; she ended up on the hood of the car," Demings said during a news conference on Friday. "She could hear the engine revving, and he began to increase his speed, and she knew at that point she needed to get off the hood."
Investigators said Ortiz is wanted for armed burglary, assault on a law enforcement officer, as well as fleeing from an officer. They said he lives in a home where Sgt Pearce was heading.
Sheriff Demings is grateful to the probation officer that was with Sgt Pearce, for activating the emergency response button on her radio and getting help. Pearce suffered head, back, hand and foot injuries, but they are all considered non life-threatening.
"While she's in a lot of pain, she has a very jovial personality but still she understands she was in a serious situation today," Demings said. "He needs to turn himself in; he's in serious trouble."
Pearce was released from Orlando Regional Medical Center around 3 p.m.