Car chase ends on Suncoast golf course
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. - A golf tournament to kick off the Suncoast Superboat Grand Prix festival turned into a high speed chase on the fairway Saturday.
Witnesses say a man being chased by sheriff's deputies drove right onto the green and directly at hundreds of golfers. They say a Jeep Cherokee crashed through the gates of Heritage Oaks off the Bee Ridge Extention and drove onto the golf course, circling around the green twice, with golfers and spectators hiding behind trees to avoid being hit.
They say the whole police chase lasted 20 minutes; but luckily no one was seriously injured.
140 people were on the course at the time.
"I was out here on 18 green...that's when I saw a Cherokee coming down the fairway with two cop cars behind in hot pursuit," says pro golfer Joe Angelo.
"Went through the green, scattered the foursome that was there, and then went towards the clubhouse and back around, I believe twice before crashing through the main gate," says witness Jaime Wood.
Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies were after 55-year-old Issa Alyan. Friday night, a deputy stopped Alyan, but while the deputy questioned his female passenger, Alyan put his Jeep into drive and drove at the deputy. It turns out that Alyan had an arrest warrant for a domestic violence charge.
Deputies tried to arrest him later, but Alyan rammed into two deputy cars. Saturday morning, officers were waiting for Alyan at his home. When Alyan showed up, that's when the chase began, from Clark Road to Bee Ridge Extention...and into Heritage Oaks.
Deputies blocked the exits and were told to take him out in any way necessary. Deputies were able to force Alyan into a row of shrubs and was wrestled out of his Jeep.
Deputy Bert Sawalt has a dislocated shoulder from struggling to get Alyan out of the Jeep. Alyan complained of chest pains; both men were taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.
Alyan is charged with Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, and Aggravated Fleeing to Elude Capture.