The suspected thief who got away from Aventura police firing their weapons at him in a busy strip-mall parking lot was arrested late Tuesday afternoon in North Lauderdale after a day-long search by law enforcement.
Jimmy J. Daniel, 29, of North Miami Beach was taken into custody by Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies, then handed over to U.S. Marshals who escorted him back to Aventura. He’s been charged with battery and aggravated assault on police officers, resisting arrest with violence, fleeing and eluding cops and grand theft.
Daniel was booked into jail at the Turner Guilford Knight correctional facility Tuesday evening, where he remains. His bond has been set at $32,500.
Late Tuesday morning, Aventura police said they were notified by security at a Target outlet at 21265 Biscayne Blvd. that Daniel — who security recognized from previous alleged thefts at Target stores — was using a screwdriver to pry open locks on video games in order to steal them.
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Police set up a perimeter in the parking lot at Target and gave chase on foot when Daniel raced out of the store. They eventually cornered him as he was sitting inside a black Acura TL. That’s when, police said, Daniel lurched the car toward officers, who responded by firing their weapons into the back windshield.
The arrest affidavit says that an Aventura officer in front of the vehicle “gave a loud verbal command” for Daniel to stop. But he didn’t, the report says, and Daniel “ignored all officers and put his car in drive and pulled forward causing the front bumper to strike officer [Bryan] Travis.”
The report goes on to say another officer feared for the safety of Travis “and fired several shots from his service weapon at the moving vehicle in order to get the defendant to stop.” When the car didn’t stop, the report says that Daniel veered toward another officer, who “fearing for his safety as well as the other officers also fired several shots from his service weapon at the vehicle.”
Aventura police didn’t say how many bullets were fired, but more than a dozen yellow markers indicating spent shells and other possible evidence were seen on the ground in the parking lot after Daniel fled.
Daniel wasn’t injured and initially got away. Aventura police defended their action, saying Daniel used the Acura as a deadly weapon. The department’s policy regarding shooting at vehicles differs from that of Miami and Miami Beach police, which says officers can only fire into vehicles if a suspect fires first or produces a weapon. Aventura cops, like Miami-Dade, can use deadly force if they feel police or the public is in immenent danger from the vehicle.
“The subject started his vehicle and attempted to run over two of our officers with a third officer adjacent to the vehicle that was also in harm’s way,” said Aventura Capt. Michael Bentolila.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that before Tuesday’s alleged crimes, Daniel’s criminal history only consisted of minor traffic offenses in Miami-Dade and North Miami Beach.