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Crime & Courts

Man accused of shooting at Polk deputies arrested


Published:   |   Updated: August 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Eleno Suarez’s monthlong run from the law ended with him hiding under the bed of a Frostproof home and a sheriff’s office K-9 biting his left arm, authorities said.

Suarez, 21, accused of shooting at deputies during a chase Aug. 3, was arrested about 5:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. He was being booked Friday at the Polk County Jail in Bartow.

On Thursday, deputies and U.S. Marshals received information that Suarez might be at 10 Pearl Hopson Road in Frostproof. Deputies said they were met at the residence by three people who denied knowing Suarez or that he was in the residence.

However, Suarez was located hiding under a bed. He refused to comply with deputies’ commands to surrender and was bitten by a K-9.

He was taken to Lake Wales Medical Center for treatment and released to authorities.

Suarez was originally wanted in connection with a July home invasion and robbery in Frostproof.

Deputies found Suarez at a convenience store near State Road 630 and Hopson Road on Aug. 3. A car chase ensued, during which Suarez fired multiple shots at deputies, authorities said.

Suarez lost control of the car near State Road 64 and U.S. 98 in Hardee County, where five passengers were arrested on carjacking charges, but Suarez fled on foot, deputies said.

A manhunt encompassing Hardee and Polk counties followed, and a $5,000 reward was offered by deputies to anyone with information that led to Suarez’s arrest. The status of that reward was not known Friday morning.

Suarez faces two counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, armed robbery, armed burglary, shooting into an occupied dwelling, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, aggravated assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, improper exhibition of a firearm, domestic battery, criminal mischief and resisting arrests.

The other three people in the home were arrested on charges of obstructing justice and resisting arrest:

Amanda Martinez, 23, of 3553 N. Scenic Highway Apt 4B, Frostproof; Raymond Febles, 23, of 385 Fazini Road, Frostproof; and Jennifer McGhee, 26, of 330 S. First St., Lake Wales.

After Suarez’s arrest, they admitted to deputies that they knew Suarez, that he had warrants for his arrest and that he was hiding in the residence, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives said they believe Martinez is Suarez’s girlfriend.

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