Police dog nabs Neil Nichols after pursuit crosses interstate, cow pasture in St. Lucie County

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A motorist who Port St. Lucie Police pursued north on Interstate 95 at night ended up swerving across a yard west of Fort Pierce and ramming through a cow fence, taking down 300 feet of barbed wire.

The pickup stopped, but the man ran until law enforcement officers captured him with the assistance of a K-9 dog around 10 p.m. Thursday at the north end of Floyd Jenkins Road, according to law enforcement reports.

That was after several St. Lucie County sheriff's deputies joined the pursuit and law enforcement officers at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Jenkins Road attempted to disable the truck with devices that puncture tires.

Neil Nichols, 34, of the 300 block of Fernandina Street, Fort Pierce, was treated for dog bites. Then he was arrested on charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, criminal mischief and property damage.

The chase started when Nichols, according to police, wouldn't halt for police officers on Zenith Drive who were looking for a suspect in a criminal case. The truck sped up and the truck's rearview mirror allegedly hit one officer in the chest and the truck narrowly missed another officer, the reports state.

At the time, police officers didn't know who the truck driver was and that Nichols was wanted on charges of failing to appear in court for a drunken driving case and for driving while his license was suspended, police said.

Now he is also accused of "intentionally accelerating his vehicle toward both officers (in Port St. Lucie) even after they used their flashlights to illuminate their uniforms and identify themselves," a police report states. Instead, he "aimed his vehicle at them and seemingly intentionally attempted to strike them with his vehicle."

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