LAKE MARY, Fla. - The police pursuit of an accused truck thief that started in Lake County and ended in Orange County was caught on camera by a law enforcement helicopter.
Deputies were trying to stop the driver, 24-year-old Darren Austin Mercer, of Eustis because they believed the stolen vehicle he was also used in a burglary.
"We just crossed over Ford Cross Road on the 429, coming up on Exit 24," a helicopter pilot is heard saying in a newly-released video.
Dramatic footage at the end of a crazy chase shows Mercer being pulled out of the truck through the window. You can hear the chopper pilot telling officers on the ground what he sees from his bird's eye view.
This all started after deputies said they received a tip about a burglary at a construction company, Ranger Construction, in Sorrento. A Lake County deputy spotted the vehicle in question and tried to pull it over. Deputies said Mercer did not want to get caught and put the pedal to the metal, but his s luck ran out in the middle of the Florida Turnpike, with a bone-jarring body slam by law enforcement officers on to the top of the truck.
Mercer is charged with fleeing and eluding and several other charges.
This story was written out of Lake Mary, Florida.