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Palm Coast Wednesday, Jul. 10, 2019 3 months ago

Traffic stop turns into game of hide-and-seek, wanted fugitive taken into custody

James Lauterbach had active felony warrants for his arrest from Hillsborough and Orange counties.
by: Guest Writer

Story courtesy of the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, by Public Affairs Manager Brittany Kershaw.


A Flagler County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted a traffic stop on a blue-and-white 1977 Dodge Motorhome for speeding and having a left tail light out around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday, July 9. 

The driver of the motorhome failed to stop for law enforcement. Upon reaching 6620 Walnut Ave., this vehicle came to a stop and the driver immediately exited the motorhome and fled on foot into the residence.

The male registered owner of the motorhome, James Lauterbach, 57, had active felony warrants for his arrest from Hillsborough County for failure to appear for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, among other charges. He had an additional active warrant from Orange County for fleeing and eluding.

An FCSO K-9 Unit arrived on scene but was unable to locate the suspect on the property. The owner of the residence granted permission for law enforcement to search for the suspect, but he wasn’t inside. The owner stated that Lauterbach had been staying on the property in the motorhome for approximately three weeks and that the green Dodge Ram truck also belonged to Lauterbach.
Around 3:30 a.m., deputies observed Lauterbach back on the property entering the green Dodge Ram truck. He was given loud verbal commands by deputies to stop and he failed to do so. He began driving the truck around the property and then crashed through the closed front gate that was on the property and turned west onto Walnut Avenue. Lauterbach drove the truck recklessly at 70 mph in a
30 mph zone with the headlights off.

He side swiped a red Dodge Ram truck on Water Oak Road causing damage to the passenger side of the vehicle. No one in the red truck was injured. Lauterbach continued driving recklessly until a deputy successfully deployed stop sticks near the intersection of County Road 305. Both left side tires on the vehicle were flattened and the vehicle eventually came to a stop at Clove Avenue. Lauterbach continued to ignore commands from deputies and he began to flee on foot. Deputies chased Lauterbach and deployed two agency issued Tasers which caused Lauterbach to fall into the grass.

Lauterbach was then arrested and secured in handcuffs. He was transported to the hospital to be medically cleared before being taken to the jail.

“A simple traffic stop turned into a night of hide-and-seek and reckless driving to tray and avoid facing the consequences for his actions,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Now he’s going to jail tired on the warrants and a slew of additional charges. I’m proud of our team for taking this fugitive into custody without anyone else getting hurt.”

Lauterbach was booked into the Flagler County Jail, where he is being held without bond.

Within the motorhome, deputies located a 9mm Taurus firearm with a magazine with seven live rounds of 9 mm ammunition in the firearm. Another magazine was located inside a case that was loaded with six live rounds.

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