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Intense hunt for fugitive ends in sister's closet

Published Aug. 27, 2005

The Sheriff's Office arrested one of Hernando County's 10 most wanted fugitives after a car and foot chase Wednesday.

Lorenzo Townsend, 31, was taken into custody after deputies found him hiding in a relative's house and charged him with fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest without violence and driving with a suspended license.

He also is accused of violating his drug offender probation. Upon his arrest, Townsend told authorities that he knew he had active warrants but relished the "thrill of the pursuit," a sheriff's report stated.

The pursuit began about 11 a.m. Wednesday, when deputies saw Townsend driving a 1972 Chevrolet Malibu west on State Road 50 near Spring Lake Highway. They knew there was a warrant for his arrest and tried to pull him over.

Townsend, however, sped through a gas station parking lot and nearly caused an accident on SR 50, the report stated.

At Wakefield Drive, Townsend leaped out of the vehicle, ran through several yards, hopped fences, ran into his sister's house on Thorncrest Avenue and locked the door behind him.

Sheriff's deputies kicked in the door and found Townsend hiding in a bedroom closet. He was placed in handcuffs and taken outside, the report said.

While deputies patted down Townsend, he began flailing his legs and was subdued with a Taser.

He was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital after complaining of back pain. He was later cleared by doctors and taken to Hernando County Jail.

On Thursday, he was released from jail after posting $7,500 bail, jail officials said.