A multi-jurisdiction response to an incident that started Tuesday afternoon in Osceola County ended with the arrest of five fleeing subjects in Orange County.
Marquel Gerardo, 18, Andy Mendez, 18, Gavin Persaud, 18, Dallas Francis, 19 and Carlos Meza, 20, were arrested in Winter Garden on a myriad of charges including aggravated assault with a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, resisting an officer without violence, Discharging a Firearm in Public, and Fleeing and Eluding law enforcement.
At around 4:30 Tuesday, Osceola County sheriff deputies responded to a home on Desoto Drive, near North Poinciana Boulevard, in reference to occupants of a black Dodge Charger seen firing guns in the neighborhood. Deputies spotted the vehicle on U.S. 192 but the vehicle fled away at a high rate of speed. The Sheriff’s helicopter maintained contact with the vehicle into Orange County. Once officers in Orange County picked up pursuit, six occupants bailed on foot into the area of West Pointe Villas in Winter Garden; five were caught and arrested.
Before leaving the county the occupants threw two assault rifles and a shotgun out the window in the area of Osceola Parkway. These firearms were located and retrieved by deputies. More firearms were found on those arrested, and more were inside the vehicle.
In a release on the incident, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office thanked the many law enforcement officials and dispatchers involved in response to this incident: the Kissimmee, Oakland, Orlando, and Winter Garden Police Departments and the Lake and Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Since the investigation into this continues, anyone with further information is asked to contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477, where information leading to a felony arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.