A Port Charlotte man reportedly struck a deputy while trying to flee a traffic stop in order to make his court appearance on time Monday afternoon.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Reid pulled over Khalil Bynum, 23, at U.S. 41 and Chamberlain Boulevard around noon. Reid knew Bynum from previous run-ins with law enforcement, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Bynum got out of his black Ford Mustang along with a female passenger, then got back into the car and tried to speed away, a report stated.
Reid tried to stop the car and was dragged by Bynum’s car.
The Mustang then crashed into a support column in a strip mall parking lot, nearly striking nearby pedestrians, before hitting the deputy’s patrol car, the report states.
Reid was able to free himself from the speeding car. His injuries were minor: a few scratches and some road rash.
Reid then issued a “Be On the Lookout” warning for the vehicle. Florida Highway Patrol stepped in as an assisting agency.
Officers later found Bynum’s car at the Charlotte County Justice Center, where he was inside attending his trial for a charge of grand theft. His passenger was still in the car.
Law enforcement told the judge presiding over the trial about the situation, and the judge allowed the trial to continue. Bynum was found guilty on grand theft charges and transported to the Charlotte County Jail.
Bynum will be held on charges from the Florida Highway Patrol on aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and three counts of leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.
His actions elicited laughter from deputies who found the car and were overheard on the police scanner.
FHP Trooper Kenneth Watson told the Sun: “Only in Florida does a bad guy have a court date, get stopped by the cops, hit a cop car, and flee the scene so he can go to court on time.”