|Jimmy Lee Batista|
MELBOURNE, Florida - A suspect police believe to be involved in approximately ten or more theft cases from around Brevard County was arrested Tuesday morning following a police pursuit that involved the combined efforts of the Melbourne Police Department, Palm Bay Police Department, and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit.
Just after 7 a.m. on Tuesday, a detective from the Melbourne Police Department was notified by a store clerk at a Kangoroo Express located in the 3000 block of North Harbor City Boulevard that a man had just stolen two cartons of cigarettes and fled the store in a gold Saturn. Police say that the suspect and vehicle description matched the description of Jimmy Batista, a subject identified from recent criminal investigations.
Although initial attempts to locate the suspect were unsuccessful, Melbourne Police were notified a short time later by Palm Bay Police that they located the suspect and had attempted to conduct a traffic stop - but the suspect refused to stop.
Police say that PBPD initially did not pursue the vehicle due to citizen safety concerns with the busy school and work traffic. Instead, a BCSO helicopter was called in to locate the vehicle and maintain surveillance while detectives from MPD and PBPD followed at a safe distance in unmarked vehicles to arrest the suspect when he stopped.
MPD and PBPD deployed stop sticks and the Saturn's tires were struck and began to deflate. Police again attempted to signal the driver to stop with emergency light and siren, but he refused. The suspect then drove through the Historical Downtown Melbourne area before turning south onto Babcock Street where another set of stop sticks were deployed by police - striking the Saturn a second time. The suspect then pulled into a driveway in the 3000 block of South Babcock Street where he exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Police chased the suspect and used a Taser to subdue him.