This story has it all! There’s a Florida man, a t-rex, an AR-15, a police chase and a bullet to the groin that finally ended the epic crime spree.
According to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, a Florida man got an early start on Sunday morning. Judd told reporters that they recieved a call just before 8:15 a.m. about a man who was throwing Molotov cocktails onto the roof of a home in Lakeland. When the first deputy showed up on the scene, he observed 30-year-old Luke Neely throwing Molotov cocktails onto the roof of a private residence. The deputy noted that some of the explosive devices ignited the roof of the home, while others rolled back onto the lawn, catching the grass on fire. The deputy demanded that the suspect stop throwing the devices, but the man refused, jumped in his car and sped off.
During the high-speed chase that followed, the man drove down Highway 98 in Polk County until he got onto I-4. That’s where officers attempted a PIT maneuver on the man’s vehicle. The first attempt was unsuccessful, but the second attempt brought the suspect’s truck to a stop successfully. Unfortunately, a deputy broke his hand while performing the stop. As the man ran from his crashed vehicle, he grabbed his AR-15 rifle and ammunition. Judd said the man also had a loaded pistol on his hip. That’s when he headed toward the huge tyrannasaurus rex that was watching from the side of the road. if you’re not from the area, the lifelike t-rex serves to advertise Dinosaur World, which is just off the next exit.
By now, the suspect was being chased on foot by three Polk County Deputies. As the man attempted to run and seek shelter behind the dinosaur, deputies opened fire and hit him several times. Neely suffered two gunshot wounds to his right leg, one shot to the left leg and one that hit him directly in the crotch. During Sheriff Judd’s press conference about the event, he said that deputies “changed the look of the man’s groin forever, if you know what I mean”. Further details about the case emerged after the smoke cleared that day. Surveillance video showed various cases of other fires being set across the same area with a suspect resembling Neely on the scene. One video shows a man trying to set the air conditioning unit of a large hotel on fire. The hotel had about 1,000 occupants at the time. A man Judd says is Neely was also seen trying to light trees, a fence and a pile of trash at Gaspar’s Grotto in Ybor.
Neely faces some serious charges. He is charged with 3 counts of attempted first degree murder, arson, 7 counts of firebombing and resisting arrest. More charges are possible, depending on evidence that has been brought to light since the chase on I-4. Here is the full story, complete with pictures of the crashed truck, the traffic back up and the AR-15 the suspect dropped after being shot by deputies. [Source: Fox13News.com]
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