The hit-and-run suspect who rolled away from Sunday’s four-car midtown Miami crash man through a sledgehammer attack and dragging fenders appeared to “be high on narcotics,” according to his arrest report.
Aventura 25-year-old Maxwell Lagutenko, 25, from Aventura, definitely owns a past pockmarked by drug arrests, bad driving and other questionable decisions.
As of 12:30 p.m. Monday, Lagutenko remained in Miami-Dade County jail on $5,000 bond on charges of fleeing and eluding a police officer. Lagutenko also received citations for reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, his 19th and 20th traffic citations in Miami-Dade County in the last eight years.
Lagutenko’s been ticketed a few times in Broward County also, but only convicted once, on a failure to wear a seat belt, a $127 fine.
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On the criminal side, he’s gotten probation on convictions of delivering oxycodone; possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine; possession of a controlled substance; and violating a restraining order.
Witnesses told police that Lagutenko, heading north on Biscayne Boulevard around 2:30 p.m., crossed the median at about Northeast 34th Street and hit one southbound car. Undeterred by the oncoming traffic, he kept going north in the southbound lanes and crashed into two more cars at the major Northeast 36th Street intersection.
Other people got out of their cars to deal with the damage. Video caught Lagutenko lurching in reverse, his driver’s side scraping the street on that side, torn off front grill suspended like an extension of the passenger side. The windshield wipers slid back and forth on the dry windshield.
Lagutenko got around the corner to head west on 36th Street until blocked by a car intentionally angled across both lanes. As other involved drivers banged on Lagutenko’s minivan to get him to stop, the driver of an uninvolved eastbound van stopped at the light got involved. He got out of the van with a sledgehammer and bashed the driver’s side of Lagutenko’s minivan several times. The hammering van driver has not been arrested or ticketed.
Eventually, Lagutenko slithered through the traffic and escaped. Police say he headed north on Federal Highway, refusing to stop for a patrol car unit at 48th Street. Miami police cut off pursuit in accordance with department policy on non-violent crimes. The report is unclear on how Miami Fire Rescue 6 wound up with Lagutenko, who was identified as the driver when brought back to the scene of the accident.