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Man arrested after Sarasota officer injured in hit-and-run, police say

By Katlyn Brieskorn,


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SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota police said they arrested a man Wednesday who was caught on camera striking an officer with a fleeing vehicle .

The police department said officers were staging a roadblock on Bird Key around 9 p.m. Monday in reference to a reported stolen vehicle.

Officers said they learned that a white Mercedes S-Class was driving toward them.

The police department said the officer who was injured anticipated that the Mercedes would either try and drive onto a side street or crash into one of the parked patrol vehicles.

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The Mercedes drove past a parked patrol car and hit the officer head-on, flipping him over the vehicle, police said.

The officer was taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital and is now home and expected to recover fully.

Sarasota officers then followed the Mercedes away from Bird Key as it drove east on John Ringling Causeway, north of U.S. 41, east on Fruitville. The car was abandoned in the 2900 block of Orange Avenue. The officers said no one was in the car when they arrived.

On Wednesday, Sarasota police said 22-year-old Mark Thomas of Plantation was arrested at a probation office in Broward County. He is facing charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and fleeing to elude with disregard for safety in connection to the hit-and-run crash that injured the officer.

Sarasota police said Thomas has been convicted of multiple crimes since December 2019. He was released from prison on Feb. 2.

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