[PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / supergenijalac]
(Have news tips for LLN?… 352Tips@gmail.com.)
FRUITLAND PARK, Florida – It took little more than to view a driver’s window-mounted camera video before a Fruitland Park police officer had sufficient probable cause to haul Hector Acevedo, 31, to the Lake County Jail on Wednesday. Acevdeo was charged with misdemeanor willful and wanton reckless driving and held on a $500 bond.
Acevdeo is accused of using his 2009 Jeep Cherokee to “tailgate the victim and [make] several attempts to strike the victim or have the victim run into the back of [Acevedo],” according to the booking report. Perhaps even more telltale than the victim’s verbal account of the incident was his live-action video of what took place along a stretch of U.S. 27-441, between Register Road and Griffin View Drive. Before it was over the frightful ordeal had traversed from the city limits of Fruitland Park into the city limits of Lady Lake.
The facts alleged are that “[as] the victim attempted to get away from the defendant, the defendant came up on the left side of the victim and proceeded to push his way in to the same lane as the victim almost striking the victim’s vehicle. The victim then switched from the center lane to the right lane still trying to getaway (sic) from the defendant. The defendant then accelerated,” and according to the report, “passed another vehicle on its left side in the same lane nearly missing that vehicle, then swerving all the way over to the right lane crossing over the fog line almost losing control of his vehicle again nearly missing the victim’s vehicle.”
Although the report states the alleged victim took “evasive action” to miss Acevedo’s vehicle, “[a] short time later the defendant again came from behind the victim this time on the right at a high rate of speed swearing (sic) in front of the victim almost striking the victim’s vehicle.”
Not least of all, the officer’s report details the victim’s camera footage: “The recording then shows the defendant slow down to let the victim get closer. As the victim’s vehicle got closer, [Acevedo] swerved back in front of the victim and slamming on his brakes. This is the second time the defendant attempted to get the victim to run into the rear of his vehicle. The victim again conducted an evasive maneuver (swerving to the right) this time the front of his vehicle brushes the rear bumper of the defendant’s vehicle.”
James Hope is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has been practicing criminal law in Tavares, Florida, since 1987. He has also been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Lake Legal News since 2009. He may be contacted at LakeLegalNews@gmail.com, or through his website at www.AttorneyJamesHope.com. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]