BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has asked for help from anyone who witnessed Michael James Anthony escape a traffic stop and lead law enforcement on a high-speed chase that authorities say resulted in the death of Deputy John Mecklenburg.
About 4 a.m. Sunday, authorities say, a Brooksville police officer saw a 1991 four-door Honda going south in the northbound lane on U.S. 41 just north of the Hernando County Government Center. Officers tried to stop the car but the driver ignored them, authorities say, and later ran several vehicles off the road.
As the pursuit rolled into Pasco County, Mecklenburg lost control of his vehicle, hit a tree and crashed. He died Sunday morning at a Tampa hospital from injuries received in the crash. Anthony, 35, was eventually caught in Pinellas County and has since been charged with felony murder.
Deputies have asked that anyone with information on the incident call the major case unit at the Hernando County Sheriff's Office at (352) 754-6830 and ask for either Sgt. Philip Lakin or Lt. Cyrus Robinson.