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American News Dec 19, 2021 1:32 PM EST

2 arrested after suspects drove car into crowd at Christmas parade in Florida

Baker was charged with having no valid driver’s license, possession of narcotics without a prescription, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and child neglect.

2 arrested after suspects drove car into crowd at Christmas parade in Florida
James Anthony Montreal QC

Terryous Jorelle Baker, 27, and Elizabeth Chavez, 24, have both been arrested when a car the male suspect was allegedly driving crashed into a crowd at a Winter Garden parade in Florida, on the outskirts of Orlando, last Sunday.

Baker has been charged with multiple counts in connection with the incident. Police also arrested Chavez, a passenger in Baker's car, on an outstanding warrant.

Local police told local outlet WFTV 9 that law enforcement was just starting to block the streets to be used for the route of the Golf Cart Christmas Parade when the car traveling at a high rate of speed came careening toward the gathered crowd. A police officer trying to slow the driver down was almost hit.

According to police, Baker continued to accelerate and plowed into another car nearby. A foot pursuit ensued when the driver ran away and was apprehended by an off-duty officer from another jurisdiction who was in the crowd.

The driver whose vehicle was struck by Baker's car suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, police reported. Police said there was a woman and two juveniles in the car when the suspect ran from authorities.

Documents from Winter Garden Police Department detail the timeline of events when the suspect hit a car with a family inside and nearly striked an officer.

According to WFTV, an officer said he was waiting for the parade to begin when someone flagged him down; a white Toyota Highlander had been hit by a speeding car. The police report stated that the other officer directing traffic for the parade had stepped into the road and "projected" his voice to tell the driver to "slow down." At that moment, the officer "heard the engine rev" and the vehicle sped up "coming right at him." Police records show police found a plastic baggie with two pills in Baker's pocket. Two children were in the car with Baker that night.

Baker was charged with having no valid driver's license, possession of narcotics without a prescription, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and child neglect. Baker told police that he ran because he knew he had a warrant.

He was being held without bond after he was booked into the Orange County Jail on the multiple charges. Baker made an initial court appearance Monday.

The incident is similar to the Waukesha massacre in Wisconsin when career criminal Darrell Brooks allegedly drove into a Christmas parade, killing six victims and injuring dozens of community members taking part in the festivities.

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