NEW PORT RICHEY — Out on a golf course Thursday afternoon, a man stole a golf cart —- with two bags of clubs inside — and took off, leading witnesses and deputies in a chase that ended with the cart in a swamp and the suspect in handcuffs.
Authorities say Jonathan C. Pierce, a 29-year-old self-employed graphic designer from Port Richey, sneaked onto Magnolia Valley Golf Course in New Port Richey and fled in the white cart. Witnesses trailed him until a deputy with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office arrived. According to a report, the deputy found Pierce and the cart at a Walgreens parking lot on Massachusetts Avenue. The deputy told the suspect to stop, but he rammed the patrol car with the golf cart and sped off, the report said.
The deputy ran after the golf cart, shouting for the suspect to stop, but the cart was too fast. So the deputy circled back and got his patrol car. He followed the cart in his car, now using the loudspeaker to tell the driver to stop. The cart, according to the report, cut through back yards — forcing the deputy to stop and follow again on foot. Backup arrived.
The chase ended when Pierce drove the golf cart into a swamp, the report states. He ran, but was caught.
Pierce is charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, two charges of grand theft (for the hijacked golf bags), aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and felony fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer. He was being held at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $24,150 bail.