Crime

Fugitive told deputies they ‘had the wrong man.’ His tattoo said otherwise, cops say

What to do when police pull you over

A Raleigh, N.C., video about what motorists should expect when stopped says you should answer all questions from an officer.
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A Raleigh, N.C., video about what motorists should expect when stopped says you should answer all questions from an officer.

A Bradenton fugitive who had been on the run for more than 300 days is behind bars after he tried to hide his identity from law enforcement, but it was his tattoo that gave him away, according to authorities.

Mario Hernandez, 27, was wanted on multiple felony failure to appear warrants. Hernandez has a lengthy history of driving without a license and reckless driving, but he also was charged with felony resisting arrest with violence in May 2018.

He never showed up to court, according to authorities.

The Manatee County sheriff’s deputy who arrested Hernandez last year spotted him getting gas at the Circle K in the 900 block of 30th Avenue East on June 22 and suspected it was the same man. The deputy ran the tags, which came back to Hernandez’s wife, who was also arrested during the same 2018 incident.

Deputies initiated a traffic stop and report that Hernandez provided a Mexican voter ID card with the name Elishua Cruz. The ID card’s photograph and birth matched that for Hernandez.

The report indicates Hernandez was compliant until deputies tried to place handcuffs on him, at which time he resisted arrest by trying to pull away.

It took three deputies to restrain Hernandez who continued to say his name was Cruz and that the deputies “had the wrong man,” deputies said.

Though one of the deputies was familiar with Hernandez, it was a tattoo on his right forearm that confirmed his identity. Deputies asked why he lied and Hernandez said his wife was pregnant and he didn’t want to be arrested, according to the report.

Hernandez was booked into the Manatee County jail and remains in custody on a bond hold. Deputies are continuing to investigate his true identity, noting that Hernandez has had a Florida drivers license under that name in the past, and there is no record of an Elishua Cruz in Florida.

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