Volusia County Sheriff's deputies are searching for a convicted sex offender who broke free during an arrest attempt on Wednesday afternoon. The incident started shortly before 1 p.m. when deputies took the suspect into custody at a location in New Smyrna Beach.
Luis Alberto Hernandez Dejesus, 31, is a convicted sex offender out of north Florida who has been living in the New Smyrna Beach area. Convicted sex offenders are required by Florida law to register their address with law enforcement.
A deputy located Dejesus in New Smyrna Beach and took him into custody for moving without notifying authorities of his new address, as required by law. A deputy placed Dejesus in handcuffs and was getting ready to put him in the back of a patrol car when he attacked the deputy, broke free and took off running.
Dejesus bolted through a marshy mangrove before jumping into a tributary of the Indian River. The escape sparked a massive search from the ground and air, with patrol deputies and investigators, a Sheriff's K-9 unit and a helicopter involved in the hunt. New Smyrna Beach police and County beach units also were assisting in the search.
The search started near an auto lot in the 1300 block of North Dixie Freeway and has continued to focus in that immediate vicinity. As of 6 p.m., the suspect was still at large.
The deputy who was attacked sustained minor cuts, lacerations and bruises in the scuffle. Dejesus is 5'9" and weighs approximately 150 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.
Anyone who sees Dejesus is asked to dial 911 to report the location.