Florida Keys

A Keys deputy says a teen almost ran him over, and then sped into his gated community

Brandon Nicholas Brock
Brandon Nicholas Brock

An Ocean Reef man is in Monroe County jail after a sheriff’s office deputy say he nearly hit him with his pickup truck while the officer was outside of his patrol car conducting a traffic stop on the side of the road Thursday night.

Deputy Edward Swogger was standing on the side of County Road 905 when Brandon Nicholas Brock, 19, drove past him traveling about 60 mph in his Ford F-150 pickup truck, coming within a foot of hitting the deputy, Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said.

Florida law mandates drivers either move over or slow down to 20 miles below the posted speed limit when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road. That speed limit on that part of CR 905 is 45 mph.

Swogger got into his car to try to pull Brock over with his flashing overhead lights on. Brock stopped at the three-way stop sign intersection with Card Sound Road. Then he increased his speed to 85 mph, driving straight to the gated Ocean Reef community, Linhardt said. As Swogger approached the gate, people on a golf cart pointed to where they saw Brock drive.

Swogger spotted the truck parked in a driveway on South Harbor Drive.

“Deputy Swogger got out and noted the truck was emitting a distinct smell of being run hard,” Linhardt said. “The engine and exhaust were also ticking as the truck cooled down.”

Swogger knocked on the door, and Brock answered. At first, he denied driving the truck, but admitted it after Swogger said he was going to obtain security camera video from the front gate.

“The security footage, indeed, confirmed Brock was the driver,” Linhardt said.

Brock was booked into jail on a reckless driving charge. Linhardt said Brock wasn’t cited for fleeing and eluding because he denied seeing Swogger’s patrol car following him with his flashing lights on.

“The sheriff’s office wouldn’t have been able to prove Brock saw Deputy Swogger’s patrol car given the distance between Deputy Swogger and the pickup truck,” Linhardt said.

Brock’s bond amount was not immediately available.

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