Crime

Hit-and-run suspect who drove through sledgehammer attack faces more criminal charges

Good Samaritan uses sledge hammer to stop fleeing driver

A hit-and-run crash quickly turned chaotic Sunday morning when the driver tried to get away, only to be stopped by very good Samaritans — one of whom had a sledge hammer.
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A hit-and-run crash quickly turned chaotic Sunday morning when the driver tried to get away, only to be stopped by very good Samaritans — one of whom had a sledge hammer.

Additional criminal charges have been filed against an Aventura man in the Biscayne Boulevard crash involving several vehicles and a bystander taking a sledgehammer to his Infiniti.

The March 11 sledgehammer attack, which shattered the rear window of Maxwell Lagutenko's car, occurred as the 25-year-old tried to drive his mangled Infiniti west on Northeast 36th Street after hitting several cars. That has led to three felony counts of leaving the scene of an accident and misdemeanor reckless driving to go with the fleeing and eluding law enforcement charge on which he was originally booked.

Lagutenko entered "not guilty" pleas to all charges. He posted $5,000 bond on March 16.

Maxwell Legutenk_fitted
Maxwell Lagutenko Miami-Dade Corrections

Though Miami police said in the original arrest report that Lagutenko "appeared high on narcotics," he faces no DUI or illegal substance-related charges.

His past includes criminal convictions for drug possession and delivery. The leaving-the-scene and reckless-driver tickets converted to criminal charges were his 28th and 29th traffic citations in the last 10 years. Of those tickets, 12 turned into convictions, amounting to $2,514 in fines.

Witnesses told police the March 11 incident began after Lagutenko hit one car while driving north in one of Biscayne Boulevard's southbound lanes, then hit two more cars at the intersection of Biscayne and Northeast 36th Street.

Video showed Lagutenko's banged up Infiniti reversing, then trying to go west on 36th Street as drivers of the other cars slapped the Infiniti. A car making an awkward left turn out of the Denny's parking lot blocked Lagutenko's path.

That's when the driver of a van waiting for the green arrow to make a left turn off eastbound 36th Street to northbound Biscayne got out of his van and slammed the driver's side of Lagutenko's Infiniti several times.

The van driver wasn't arrested or ticketed.

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