By Austin L. Miller, Ocala.com
Gregory K. Walker, 50, of Ocala, was arrested after shredded tires on the truck slowed him down and a sheriff’s vehicle sidled up to him and nudged it to a stop.
ANTHONY “I just wanted to give y’all something to do,” the driver said, after leading police officers and sheriff’s deputies on a rambling chase down several roads and through cow pastures in northern Marion County on Wednesday.
Gregory K. Walker, 50, of Ocala, was arrested after shredded tires on the stolen truck slowed him down and a sheriff’s vehicle sidled up to him and nudged it to a stop, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Walker faces charges of grand theft and fleeing and eluding.
Ocala Police officers and Marion County sheriff’s deputies pursued him after they say he refused to return his Sarasota employer’s 2013 Ford F-450 construction/mechanical-style pickup truck.
The pursuit, with speeds up to 60 mph, began within the Ocala city limits and ended in the 3800 block of Northeast 97th Street Road in Anthony, after a sheriff’s deputy used the PIT maneuver on the truck. Officials said the front of the truck had strands of barbed wire in it, and all four tires were shredded after he kept going on flat tires. During the chase, the vehicle went through multiple fences and fields.
Walker was ordered out of the pickup and came out laughing. He told deputies he just wanted to give them something to do, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.
On the way the Marion County Jail, Walker kept telling an OPD officer that the ride had been fun, how he loved to drive and that people would be talking about the pursuit for years. He said the only charge he would be facing would be fleeing and eluding.
Officials said Walker could faces charges in Manatee County, as well. The truck belongs to Goff Communications in Sarasota, where Walker used to work, and it had been assigned to him. On Wednesday morning, a company employee was following the truck in Ocala and called the Sheriff’s Office.
Ocala was notified around 9:45 a.m., and an officer spotted the truck near Northwest 55th Avenue and West State Road 40.
Walker refused to stop for the officer. And the pursuit continued through numerous streets and out into the county, where sheriff’s deputies picked up the chase. At various places, deputies put out stop sticks to stop the truck. Though it ran over the stop sticks, Walker ignored the deputies’ commands and continued driving.
Once the vehicle was stopped, it was towed away and Manatee and Goff Communications officials were told about the arrest.
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