Florida Keys

Pembroke Park man in Keys flees on motorcycle after cop turns on siren to stop him

A Pembroke Park mechanic who fled on his motorcycle and blew through a school zone in the Keys after a deputy tried to stop him was booked Friday into the Monroe County Jail.

Monroe County Deputy Nelson Sanchez was northbound at the 88.3 mile marker in heavy traffic at 2:45 p.m. Friday when he looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a motorcyclist passing cars on the road’s shoulder. He turned on his lights and siren to stop the motorcycle. The driver passed the patrol car, stopped momentarily, shrugged his shoulders, then took off at a high rate of speed, weaving through cars, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Sanchez attempted to follow, calling to deputies north of his location to be on the lookout for the vehicle. He also warned deputies at the school zone just ahead to keep kids from crossing due to the dangerous driving of the motorcyclist.

The motorcycle sped through the school zone at Coral Shores High School; he continued north as several deputies tried to stop him. Sgt. Tom Kiffney, who was monitoring the pursuit, finally called it off due to the dangerous speeds and heavy traffic.

Deputies who were parked at the 99-mile marker reported the motorcycle never passed their location, so Deputy Matt Koval began driving through neighborhoods to locate the motorcyclist. He found the man who had been driving the motorcycle standing in the yard at 21 Drury Drive in Key Largo. He had changed his clothes in an attempt to disguise himself.

The man – identified as 35-year-old John Vega – said “I’m the guy, you got me.” He told Koval he fled because his driver’s license was suspended. Vega was arrested and charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police, driving with his license suspended and resisting arrest.