Armed and dangerous

April 12, 2019

Armed and dangerous

Media Contact: Makayla Chancey, PIO

Three individuals traveling together were nearly run off of the road and threatened with a firearm by a man in a vehicle when passing through Zolfo Springs, Florida.

On April 11, 2019, around 12:30 a.m., deputies responded to the Marathon gas station, located at 501 State Road 64 E. in Zolfo Springs, to meet with three victims who said they were nearly run off of the road by a black SUV and were threatened with a firearm as they tried to get away.

The victims said the driver of the SUV, later identified as Jose Sanchez, was following their vehicle and forcefully tried several times to run them off of the road and cause an accident. When the victims were finally able to pass Sanchez, he quickly sped up and pulled alongside the passenger side of their vehicle, rolled down his window and pointed a rifle at them. The victims, in fear for their lives, quickly sped to the Marathon station for safety. Sanchez, still following the victims, dramatically slowed his speed when entering the Zolfo Springs city limits and continued to travel north, where law enforcement located him farther up the road.

Sanchez was detained, his vehicle searched and a Marlin .22 rifle was located in the backseat floorboard on the passenger side along with a box of ammunition. The rifle was loaded with 15 rounds and 1 in the chamber, making the weapon ready to fire and easily accessible to the driver. Upon further investigation, it was determined he was also driving with a suspended license.

Jose Sanchez was arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (firearm), three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (vehicle), driving while license suspended with knowledge and open carrying of weapons.