final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit,
Martin County; Lawrence Michael Mirman, Judge; L.T. Case No.
B. Greenlee of Andrew B. Greenlee, P.A., Sanford, and Greg
Rosenfeld of the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A., West
Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Joseph D.
Coronato, Jr., Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach,
Defendant appeals his conviction of fleeing a law enforcement
officer at a high speed or wanton disregard for the safety of
persons or property under section 316.1935(3)(a), Florida
Statutes (2016). The court sentenced him to sixty months
state imprisonment. Because the State failed to establish a
wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, we
reverse the conviction and sentence and remand for the entry
of a judgment of conviction and sentence on the lesser
included offense of fleeing to elude a law enforcement
officer with sirens and lights activated under section
316.1935(2), Florida Statutes (2016).
trial, the State called a detective with the Martin County
Sheriff's Office. On the day in question, the Detective
was on Federal Highway preparing to turn onto Cove Road in a
marked four-wheel sedan equipped with full lights and siren.
He noticed a truck matching the description of a vehicle he
was looking for and also noticed an equipment infraction on
the truck. The truck cut across from a straight lane to a
turn lane and continued northbound on Federal Highway.
Detective initially activated his light without sirens, at
which point the Defendant pulled into the parking lot of a
nearby bank. However, once the two vehicles pulled into the
bank's winding parking lot, the Defendant accelerated.
The Detective then activated his sirens as the Defendant
exited the parking lot onto Cove Road, and allegedly began
weaving through traffic. A Deputy in the area testified that
he saw the truck slowly pull into the bank parking lot and
accelerate. The Deputy testified that the truck
"continued at a high rate of speed through the parking
lot, " before pulling onto Cove Road where "there
was absolutely traffic in the area." Notwithstanding the
testimony regarding the high rate of speed, the Detective
testified that neither car exceeded 40 miles per hour in an
area where the posted speed limit was 35 miles per hour.
unbeknownst to the Detective, during this time the Defendant
called 911, expressing concern that he was being followed by
a police officer for unknown reasons, and that he wanted to
pull over in a safe and well-lit area.
Detective terminated the pursuit by engaging in a pursuit
intervention technique. He was trained to place the front
corner of his car's fender or quarter panel against the
rear corner of the other vehicle, "effectively nudging
it to where it loses control and spins around and
stops." The Detective carried out this technique and
arrested the Defendant.
the Defendant was tried and convicted of the crime of
"fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer with lights
and siren activated with willful and wanton driving."
During the trial, the court denied the Defendant's motion
for judgment of acquittal. It is that denial the Defendant
review of the court's denial of the Defendant's
motion for judgment of acquittal is de novo, and we
consider all reasonable inferences from the evidence in the
light most favorable to the State. Damoah v. State,
189 So.3d 316, 321 (Fla. 4th ...