FCSO: Traffic Stop Turns Into "Hide & Seek"

57-year-old James Lauterbach
(Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

Bunnell, FL - The Flagler County Sheriff's Office says a routine traffic stop ended up as a game of hide and seek that a wanted fugitive ended up losing.

Around 10:30 last night (July 9th), a deputy attempted to pull over a motorhome for speeding and having a left tail light out.

The driver, 57-year-old James Lauterbach, failed to stop for the deputy after the deputy tried initiating the traffic stop. Eventually Lauterbach reached a home on Walnut Avenue where he left the motorhome and fled on foot into a residence.

Deputies soon found out that Lauterbach has active felony warrants for his arrest in Hillsborough and Orange Counties for multiple charges including failure to appear, drug possession and fleeing and eluding.

An FCSO K-9 unit was called to the scene but the were unable to locate Lauterbach on the property. The owner granted FCSO permission to search the home but he wasn't inside.

The owner told law enforcement that Lauterbach had been staying on the property in the motorhome for around three weeks and that a green Dodge truck on the property was also his.

Around 3:30 in the morning the next day (July 10th), deputies saw Lauterbach back on the property, entering the green truck. After being given the command to step out, Lauterbach began to drive the truck around the property until he crashed through the front gate and drove back onto Walnut.

According to the report, Lauterbach drove recklessly at 70 mph in a 30 mph zone with the headlights off.

He continued until he swiped a red Dodge truck on Water Oak Road, causing damage to the passenger side of the vehicle.

No one was injured in that vehicle and Lauterbach continued driving until a deputy deployed stopsticks on his truck near the intersection of County Road 305.

After the truck came to a stop at Clove Avenue, Lauterbach again fled on foot as deputies chased him. He was eventually tased by two deputies which caused him to fall into the grass. That's where deputies finally arrested Lauterbach.

He was transported to the hospital where he was medically cleared before going to jail.

Lauterbach was taken into custody on two counts of fleeing and eluding, resisting and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. He was also aditionally charged with his two out of county warrants.

He remains in Flagler County Jail on no bond.

In his motorhome, deputies also found a 9mm handgun, along with 13 rounds of ammunition.


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