Man leads deputies on high speed chase in Vero Beach, officials say

Mugshot of Gentrus Thomas

VERO BEACH — A 40-year-old man was arrested after he led police on a high speed chase and struck a deputy in the eye, according to an Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Gentrus Devon Thomas, of the 5700 block of 39th Street, Vero Beach, faces a variety of charges including fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He is being held at the Indian River County Jail on $27,500 bail.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, a deputy saw a red Mustang run a stop sign at 35th Avenue and 45th Street in Vero Beach, the report states. When the deputy turned around to make a traffic stop, the vehicle fled northbound on 34th Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The mph of the vehicle was not immediately available. Deputies said the vehicle ran two more stop signs at 43rd Street and 38th Avenue, the report states. The vehicle then drove recklessly toward another deputy in the 4400 block of 38th Avenue, which caused the deputy to swerve away to avoid collision.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Thomas, then drove south on 43rd Avenue and drove into the Heritage Villas apartment complex, the report states. Thomas got out of the vehicle and fled from deputies, but was found soon after behind an apartment building.

When deputies detained Thomas, he used his elbow to hit one of the deputies in the eye, the report states. Several deputies eventually were able to apprehend Thomas.

Deputies also found a small bag of marijuana in Thomas’ vehicle.




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