Marandoe Acell Lamar Young, 21, was arrested Thursday by an Alachua County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit after a chase that started in Columbia County.
Florida Highway Patrol stopped traffic on I-75 in Alachua County, both north and south, early Thursday afternoon in response to an incident involving a driver being pursued by law enforcement, spokesperson Patrick Riordan said.
At 4:40 p.m., FHP announced that the southbound lanes were open. Five minutes later, FHP said northbound lanes were open.
The pursuit of the suspect began in Columbia County and continued into Alachua County, said Kaley Behl, Alachua County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. The driver exited his vehicle and began running. She said no deputies were injured. The suspect was injured, however, as he was caught by a K-9 dog named Micco, according to the arrest report.
Young ran towards the woods near the interstate after getting out of his car, an arrest report read. A shot was fired as Young ran towards the woods. Young told law enforcement that he fired the shot accidentally as he picked up the gun after it fell while running, according to the arrest report.
Young also dropped a backpack filled with more than 255 grams of marijuana during the pursuit according to a release.
Young dropped the gun because he didn’t want to be found with it. The gun was not found at the time of the arrest report. He has been a felon since 2019 when he was convicted of aggravated battery of an individual 65 years of age or older in Hillsborough County.
Young now faces multiple charges for aggravated assault of law enforcement officers as well as gun and marijuana possession. He also faces charges for running away from law enforcement and evidence tampering.
Riordan said the lane closures by FHP were necessary to protect public safety, especially after receiving information that there had been a shot fired.
Although FHP’s main focus was diverting traffic away from the interstate, he said that wasn’t the agency’s only priority.
“Part of it was the perimeter and actively looking and attempting to find this subject in the approximate area that he had run to,” Riordan said.
Riordan said that there are a variety of potential causes for lane closures on I-75 and that, when lane closures do occur, the agency works expeditiously to resolve the problem. However, he said it’s rare to close both northbound and southbound lanes on a major highway.
“It’s a priority for our agency to get the road open as quickly as possible after an incident that occurs whether it’s a shooting, it’s a bad crash or it’s [an] overturned truck with hazardous materials,” he said.
Behl said ACSO deputies began pursuing Young when he crossed from Columbia County into Alachua County around 12:02 PM.
Law enforcement had originally tried to stop Young from speeding when he started to flee. Young told deputies that he had originally stopped but then decided to flee, recognizing that he would be arrested due to a pending case in Georgia, according to the arrest report.
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Omar Ateyah is a third-year journalism student and the Alligator's Race and Equity reporter. He previously served as the Alligator's crime reporter and as a news assistant on the Metro Desk. He enjoys going on long, thoughtful walks.