Suspect on the Run After Beating Officer and Running Him Over With ATV, $5k Reward Offered
Avon Park, FL – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is on the lookout for a suspect involved in an incident where one of their officers was run over with an ATV. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to the unidentified suspect’s arrest.
The suspect is accused of attacking and assaulting the officer with another man (who has been captured), and being one of two men to run over the officer on a side-by-side SUV.
Captain Brooks of the FWC said, “He knows what he’s done and he needs to turn himself in. Whether he wants to turn himself in or you want to make $5,000 that’s up to him.”
Saturday evening, an unidentified officer was patrolling the Avon Park Bombing Range, around where the FWC has been receiving tips of illegal poaching. The officer reportedly observed three subjects shining a spotlight at the range from River Ranch.
As soon as he contacted the three Hispanic men, he secured their firearms, which were reportedly one rifle and one shotgun. This act, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, likely saved the officer’s life.
The officer began to talk to the men, and Michel Amalfi jumped on him and started fighting him. Another of the subjects (the man that is wanted and has not yet been identified) joined in and started fighting the officer.
The third subject, Lazaro Milian, who is on probation for grand theft, fled on an ATV as the others “beat [the officer] down,” police said.
The two men stopped fighting him, jumped on a side-by-side ATV, and ran over the officer as they fled.
During a press conference, Sheriff Judd said, “They left him an hour deep in these woods and they didn’t care whether he survived or not.”
Two were arrested, one is at large after an attack on a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer near Avon Park. https://t.co/Lhxtugs7eA
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) January 4, 2021
Thankfully, the officer was able to make it over to his truck and call for assistance. Many officers responded to search for him in the 88,000 acres of the hunting camp. Sheriff Judd said the vehicle’s GPS system was instrumental in locating the officer relatively quickly, considering there were around 5,000 people camping and hunting in the park at the time.
Additionally, almost 100 officers worked overnight to secure the perimeter and track down Amalfi and Milan, which was largely thanks to Amalfi dropping a cell phone. With the phone, deputies discovered he had a hunting camp, and search warrants for the camp and the men were obtained. The two men were arrested without incident.
The third subject has not been identified, and the two who were arrested are not speaking to officers to help bring the man into custody.
Police found one ATV submerged in the water, but the other that was used to run over the officer hasn’t been located.
The officer was treated and released from the hospital. He said of the large police presence to capture the suspects, “When you attack one law enforcement officer, you have attacked all law enforcement officers.”
Anyone with information regarding the third subject is asked to call the FWC tip line at 1-888-404-3922 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-226-8477.