High-speed chase through Bradenton ends in crash. Police dog gets its man, cops say

Florida K9 begins recovery after getting shot during police chase

A sergeant and a police dog were shot during a chase on March 29, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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A sergeant and a police dog were shot during a chase on March 29, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

He fled from two law enforcement agencies, but in the end John Hicks, 33, couldn’t outrun a K9 unit on Aug. 18, Manatee County deputies say.

According to the report, Hicks was under surveillance by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office because he is wanted for “several outstanding felony warrants.”

Sarasota deputies tailed Hicks to a motel in Ellenton and contacted Manatee deputies for assistance in making an arrest. Prior to deputies arriving, Hicks left the motel and drove south on Interstate 75, exiting onto westbound State Road 70, the report states.

Sarasota deputies continued to tail Hicks until Manatee deputies were in place to make a traffic stop. Hicks “quickly accelerated” and sped away, the report states.

Deputies say Hicks reached speeds in excess of 110 mph, ran at least one red light and almost crashed into another vehicle.

According to the report, the high-speed chase lasted approximately three minutes before Hicks lost control of his vehicle and crashed in the 2000 block of 45th Street Court East. Deputies say Hicks ran into nearby woods.

A K9 unit tracked Hicks while the Sarasota sheriff’s office’s helicopter flew overhead. Deputies say the area where Hicks was hiding was “heavily wooded” and was flooded from the recent heavy rains, but the K9 “engaged” Hicks while he was in thigh-deep water trying to hide under a fallen tree.

“As a result, the defendant sustained MCSO K9 bite wounds to the right of his face and right arm,” the report states.

Hicks was treated for the bite wounds at a local hospital and booked into the Manatee County jail on charges of felony fleeing to elude law enforcement and several misdemeanor,s on top of the felony warrants out of Sarasota County.

Deputies say Hicks’ girlfriend was a passenger in the vehicle and though she sustained an injury in the crash, Hicks abandoned her when he attempted to run away, which netted him an additional felony charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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