Police: Car on fire, with only 3 tires driving in darkness near UF campus

It was quite a sight: A witness called police to report that someone in a silver station wagon was on fire with only three tires driving in the dark along a city road bordering the University of Florida.

“He was missing the driver’s front tire and had occasional sparks (and) smoke and flames coming from the front of the vehicle,” Gainesville Police Officer Matthew Quinn wrote in his report.

Quinn said the station wagon was seen heading south on Southwest 34th Street just after midnight Sunday. Quinn said the car swerves erratically, posing what he described as a hazard to other drivers and pedestrians. It was unclear if the driver was missing a spare tire or did not know how to change one.

Quinn said he quickly caught up to the driver, identified as Adrian Vincent Hernandez, 23, of Gainesville, and said Hernandez would not stop despite Quinn using his car lights and siren. The officer said Hernandez ran a red light as he continued to drive away from campus on 20th Avenue Southwest.

Quinn said Hernandez parked in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex less than a mile away and got out of the 1995 Ford station wagon. Hernandez was arrested and charged with running from police, which is a felony, resisting an officer and driving with a suspended license, both misdemeanors, police said. Hernandez lives less than 100 feet from the parking lot where he stopped the car.

Hernandez told police he knew officers were trying to arrest him but that he ‘refused to stop because he wanted to drive his vehicle home,’ Quinn wrote in his report. of arrest.

Hernandez, who told the court he could not afford a private attorney, did not immediately respond to phone messages left at the number he provided to police. He was not on the UF registrar’s list as a student for the fall semester. He was released from jail on Monday without posting bail.

Quinn said Hernandez was charged with resisting an officer because he kicked and banged his head against the inside of Quinn’s patrol car while sitting on the back seat after his arrest. He said he told Hernandez to stop, but Hernandez kept kicking the door.

On Tuesday, the day after Hernandez was released from prison, he was served with court documents in an unrelated misdemeanor robbery case in which he is accused of stealing from a retail store, according to reports. court documents.


This is breaking news. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing [email protected].

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