Lake City Police responded to McFarlane Avenue, just north of S.W. Grandview Street, to assist the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, August 04, at approximately 9:55 a.m.
Sheriff’s Deputies had a report of a reckless driver and attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled. A database check of the vehicle’s tag revealed that it was stolen out of Volusia County. A pursuit resulted in the vehicle crashing into a ditch and overturning on McFarlane Ave.
When LCPD officers arrived on the scene, they discovered that the vehicle was being driven by a black male, later identified as James Anthony Lee, 35, of Daytona Beach. After crashing, Lee and his juvenile daughter, who had been a passenger in the truck, fled into a nearby wooded area. The daughter was apprehended by CCSO immediately, while Lee continued to flee. A perimeter was established by CCSO and LCPD units while K9s from CCSO and the Florida Wildlife Commission responded. Search teams were unable to locate the suspect initially.
At approximately 3:18 pm, the Police Department received a call from a resident residing on S.W. Vanwood Court, in the neighborhood behind the wooded area where Lee had fled. Officers responded and were informed by the homeowner that a male matching Lee’s description had broken into the home and stolen their car keys off the counter. When Lee saw the residents, he fled into the woods. Search teams responded and resumed tracking Lee from the Vanwood Court home.
At approximately 3:56, a call was received by LCPD of a burglary-in-progress at 814 S.W. Bali Lane, a neighborhood near the initial crash location. Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies responded and the homeowner stated that they came home and found their front window broken and when they entered, they heard someone inside and went for help.
While establishing a perimeter around the home, K9 teams arrived and confirmed tracking the suspect from the Vanwood Court home, through the woods, to the area of Bali Lane. Sgt. Robert Milligan entered the home along with several CCSO deputies and K9 team. A search of the home discovered Lee barricaded in the basement. After a brief standoff, officers entered the basement and attempted to apprehend Lee, who resisted. Lee was subdued and arrested.
A search of Lee and his surrounding area after his detention resulted in the car keys and several other items reported stolen from the Vanwood Lane residence, as well as items identified by the residents of the Bali Lane residence as stolen from other areas of the home. Other evidence on the scene linked Lee to the vehicle that crashed on McFarlane.
Lee was transported to a local hospital where he received treatment for injuries to the leg that he sustained during the crash, as well as minor injuries sustained during his apprehension including a bite by CCSO K9. He was released and transported to the Columbia County Jail where he was charged with two counts of Burglary to an Occupied Dwelling, two counts of Theft, one count of Criminal mischief, and Resisting Arrest by the Lake City Police Department. Additional charges from CCSO include Vehicle Theft, Fleeing and Eluding, Cruelty Towards Child, Child Neglect, and various traffic-related charges. Additional charges are anticipated. Lee is being held without bond.