Florida

He was riding his bike and refused to pull over. Then a deputy looked in his bag.

Alex Johnson
Alex Johnson Indian River County Sheriff's Office

A deputy with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office noticed a man riding a bicycle early Thursday morning on a dark Vero Beach street.

The man, later identified as Alex Michael Johnson, was hard to see at first: He had on dark clothing and the bike was not equipped with a head lamp or a back light, a police report said.

There had been a spate of recent burglaries in the area, so the officer turned on his emergency lights and tried to make the bicyclist pull over.

But Johnson, wearing a backpack, kept on pedaling. In fact, he sped up, the report said. The man then made a right turn and headed north, "again disregarding my emergency lights and sirens," it said.

Suddenly Johnson jumped off the bike, according to the report, and ran into a vacant lot. The deputy chased him on foot and caught him while he was trying to hide in the high grass.

Johnson was read his Miranda rights and said he understood why he was pulled over. "He decided to answer some questions," the officer wrote.

Johnson said he ran because he is a "drug addict" and was high, which caused him to be "paranoid," the deputy's affidavit says. He could not, however, explain why he was biking around the area in the dark.

The officer searched the 22-year-old's backpack and found a small black case containing a small white rock, which the officer recognized as crack cocaine.

"The substance was field tested and gave an immediate positive result for the presence of cocaine," with an approximate weight of 0.8 grams, the report said. He also found a pipe and a rod — which had "residue and burn marks" — in the bag.

Johnson was booked in the county jail on a charge of possession. As of Friday afternoon, he was still being held, with bond set at $5,000.

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