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Southwest Orange Tuesday, Jul. 11, 2017 4 years ago

Hit-and-run driver rams into Windermere cop car

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A Windermere police officer’s patrol vehicle was hit by another driver Tuesday morning.
by: Gabby Baquero News Editor

WINDERMERE – Windermere Patrol Sgt. Mark DeStefano was the victim of a hit and run Tuesday morning.

Windermere Police Chief Dave Ogden said witnesses claim the crash, which occurred around 7:30 a.m., appeared to be intentional because the vehicle first backed up and then crashed into the passenger side of DeStefano’s patrol vehicle.

“The vehicle broadsided Sgt. Destefano’s vehicle on Highway 50 in Ocoee at the entrance to the Hardees restaurant and then fled the scene,” Ogden said. “Shortly thereafter an OCSO Deputy observed the vehicle recklessly driving down Highway 50, but the deputy didn’t know of the hit-and-run that just occurred.”

After hitting the police car, the driver drove off with a flat tire and a smoking engine and hit another civilian vehicle. The car was found abandoned in the Pine Hills area.

DeStefeno, who holds 39 years of law enforcement experience and has been employed by the Windermere Police Department for a year and six months is uninjured. The Ocoee Police Department is handling the investigation and searching for the suspect.

UPDATE: The suspect, named Scott Edward Mitchell, was found hiding in a house close to his parents' house in Lake County and arrested.

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Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected]

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