By Ryan Yousefi
A Margate man faces numerous felony charges, including the infliction of harm or endangerment of a K-9’s life, following a chaotic high-speed pursuit fueled by drugs that culminated with a police K-9 suffering severe injuries during his capture.
On September 14, a routine traffic stop escalated into a high-speed chase and a dramatic K-9 takedown after Coconut Creek Police officers encountered an unconscious man behind the wheel of a vehicle at a stoplight.
The incident began after a CCPD officer on a routine patrol observed a vehicle parked at the intersection of Hammocks Boulevard and Lyons Road, causing an issue for other cars that were speeding by.
According to the arrest report, the officer noticed the vehicle stationary at the intersection, facing a blinking yellow light, and, concerned about a potential accident, approached the car to check on the driver.
As the officer approached, he viewed the driver, later identified as Devontay Thomas, 29, of Margate, seemingly unconscious behind the wheel and without a seatbelt.
Upon closer inspection, the officer also noticed a blue pill on Thomas’s lap, prompting him to request immediate assistance from the fire rescue team, fearing a possible medical emergency.
While waiting for medical experts to arrive, the officer spotted a pill bottle on the front passenger seat containing two additional unmarked blue pills.
As Thomas regained consciousness and appeared extremely lethargic, slurring his words, the officer asked if the pills were prescribed to him or illegal narcotics.
Thomas claimed to the officer the pills were medication for his schizophrenia, but displayed signs of nervousness and began reaching around inside the vehicle as the officer asked additional questions.
Concerned by his behavior, particularly Thomas reaching around the vehicle, the officer asked him to turn off the car and exit the vehicle, but Thomas refused to comply.
According to records of the incident, backup arrived on the scene, and officers attempted to have Thomas exit the vehicle due to their suspicion of his impaired state. At that moment, Thomas suddenly shifted the car into drive and fled the traffic stop at a high speed, heading south on Lyons Road.
The abrupt acceleration and swerving nearly resulted in an officer being struck by Thomas’s vehicle. Both officers gave chase with lights and sirens activated, and Thomas, in an attempt to evade capture, turned off his headlights while continuing to flee.
The pursuit continued until Thomas abruptly pulled into a driveway and abandoned his vehicle. Ignoring verbal commands to surrender, he ran toward the front door of a nearby residence.
According to an eventual arrest report, Thomas continued to resist arrest and attempted to enter the home, and a K-9 unit was deployed to apprehend him.
During the ensuing struggle, Thomas rolled over the K-9, causing a severe injury to the dog’s right paw. Despite the injury, the K-9 eventually subdued Thomas, who was taken into custody.
Upon searching the vehicle and the pills Thomas had handed over earlier, it was discovered that they tested positive for Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid. During an interview, Thomas admitted to officers he is battling a serious drug problem.
He was arrested and transported to Northwest Medical Center for medical clearance before being taken to the Broward County Main Jail.
The report notes the injured K-9 could not put pressure on their injured right leg and is scheduled for veterinary care to address the injury.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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