POLK CITY (FOX 13) - A Polk County man who was out on bond for animal cruelty was arrested after a high-speed chase with Polk County deputies that was caught on video by a bystander.
It happened just before 8 a.m. Thursday. Deputies say they were responding to a suspicious vehicle parked in a yard on Combee Rd. When they arrived, they found Tad Whitworth sitting in a truck, agitated and rocking back and forth, saying he did not want to go back to jail. When he refused to exit the vehicle, deputies said he fled, leading deputies on a chase for more than 14 miles.
A video taken by a Amber Hollis, who had just dropped off her daughter at school, shows the truck fleeing with several cruisers chasing him, eventually driving through a field attempting to flee from officers.
"They caught him at the roundabout! Nope! Where'd he go?" said Hollis as she's videotaping. "He went in the field!" she yells.
Eventually, the video shows the truck plow through a fence, a ditch, and strike a vehicle with four people in it. The victims inside the car were not injured.
The suspect continued to flee down State Rd. 33, driving through numerous fences and was finally taken into custody on Campbell Rd.
He was arrested on several charges including aggravated battery, felony fleeing, and resisting arrest.
Whitworth was arrested back in October 2015 for beating two dogs with a sledgehammer and had been released on bond. The two dogs were removed from the home and taken into custody by the SPCA of Lakeland.
Hollis, 29, said she saw the chase coming and took out her cell phone to get video. The chase continued on her normal route home, so she kept rolling, she said.
"I was shaking," she recalled.
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