(May 17, 2016)- A DUI crash investigation escalated into something entirely different when the suspect escaped custody, stole a vehicle, and led police on a chase that ended in a serious crash.

During a two-car traffic crash at 4600 of Santa Barbara Boulevard, the at fault driver, David Fernandes, showed signs of impairment and was knowingly driving on a suspended license.  Fernandez was arrested for the suspended license. 

During the crash investigation, Fernandes managed to escape custody and immediately got into a Police Volunteer Unit (PVU) vehicle that was parked, running, at the scene near the patrol car. The Police Volunteer ran over and tried to stop Fernandes, but was knocked to the ground.

Officers at the scene immediately called out the information over the radio and followed Fernandes in their patrol vehicles down Santa Barbara Boulevard to Cape Coral Parkway where Fernandes turned westbound on Cape Coral Parkway at a high rate of speed and refused to stop. Fernandes eventually crashed the PVU vehicle into a concrete pole at SW 25th Place and Cape Coral Parkway West.

Fernandez sustained serious injuries in the crash injuries and was trauma alerted to a local hospital where he was admitted. Investigation revealed that Fernandes had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over .08. Major Crash Investigator Satterlee and Sergeant O’Grady responded to assist with the traffic crash investigation. A Ping4 alert was issued for the roadway being blocked off due to the crash. Forensics personnel processed the scene and the Investigative Services Bureau was notified.

Fernandes is currently being watched by an officer at a local hospital until he is discharged.

Officers initially charged Fernandes with DUI, DUI with property damage x3, DWLSR (Knowingly), Criminal Mischief and Escape. He was additionally charged with Car Jacking, Grand Theft Auto, Battery on a victim of 65 YOA, Criminal Mischief, Fleeing to Elude, DUI, and DUI with property damage.

"We are grateful that the reckless acts of Fernandes didn't cause serious injury to anyone else. We have immediately tasked the Professional Standards Bureau to conduct a comprehensive review of the incident to find out exactly what occurred. Our full report, including any applicable recommendations for policy revision and/or retraining, will be available upon completion," Bart Connelly, Chief of Police.

NO PHOTO AVAILABLE
ARRESTED
: David Anthony Fernandes, W/M, DOB: 10-08-1991, of 8680 Wesleyan Drive, Ft. Myers, FL.
CHARGES (16-007933): DUI, DUI with property damage x3, DWLSR (Knowingly), Criminal Mischief, and Escape.
CHARGES (16-007936): Car Jacking, Grand Theft Auto, Battery on a victim 65 YOA, Criminal Mischief, Fleeing to Elude, DUI, and DUI with property damage.

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CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341