Indian River County deputy dragged during traffic stop, father and son arrested

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - An Indian River County Sheriff's deputy was dragged during a traffic stop on Sunday morning. A father and son were arrested, but the driver of the car is still being sought by authorities.

Indian River County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Bell was conducting a traffic stop on C.R. 512 between Fellsemere and I-95. 

A deputy was arresting Andrew Coffee Sr., 33  for a drug possession charge, when he broke from Deputy Bell's grip and got back in the car as the driver, later identified as Wesley Clark, drove away. 

As the driver fled the scene, Deputy Bell was attempting to restrain Coffee. Deputy Bell was dragged several feet and nearly run over by the car's rear tire, according to an Indian River County Sheriff's release.

The deputy suffered minor injuries in the form of scrapes and abrasions on his face, forearm, and knee as a result of being dragged.

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The deputy then followed the car to the entrance of Vero Lake Estates at 101st Avenue and C.R. 512, where it had crashed into a sign, according to Indian River County Sheriff's Office.

Coffee and the driver fled the scene on foot and a female passenger remained with the car. 

After searching the surrounding area Coffee was arrested in the 9000 block of 101st Court.

Andrew Coffee Jr. 19, the son of Coffee Sr,. was stopped by the Sebastian Police Department in the area of the 9000 block of 101st Court as Sebastian officers were assisting with the search for Coffee Sr. 

Left to right: Andrew Coffee Sr., 33, Andrew Coffee Jr., 19, and Wesley Clark. The Coffees are under arrest and deputies are seeking Clark.

According to authorities, Coffee Jr. had an app on his cell phone which allowed him to hear the law enforcement radio traffic of deputies searching for his father.

Coffee Jr. told deputies that he heard his father had been shot and was in the area to look for him. 

Deputies believe that Coffee Sr. was in contact with his son and the two were attempting to arrange for Coffee Sr. to be picked up and avoid being arrested.

Coffee Sr. was arrested and charged with resisting arrest without violence, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, giving a false name while detained, theft (for taking the deputy's handcuffs), and tampering or destroying evidence.

He was arrested and booked into the county jail.  Coffee Sr. posted a $23,000 bond and was released.

Coffee Jr. was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and unlawful use of police communications. He is being held in the Indian River County Jail on $500 bond.  

Authorities are still searching for Wesley Clark. Arrest warrants were issued for Clark for aggravated battery on law enforcement officer with deadly weapon, flee and elude, and leaving scene of accident with property damage have been issued. 

Anyone with information about Clark's whereabouts is asked to contact the Indian River County Sheriff's Office at 772-978-6240 or Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-800-273-8477 or www.tcwatch.org.

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