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September 23, 2017

A fugitive’s run from the law in Marion County ended when police with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office forced the fugitive’s car into a collision with the road’s median using what is known as the PIT maneuver. According to the official report from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the events leading to the pursuit happened several weeks ago when the Marion County Sheriff, Billy Woods, uploaded a video to Facebook asking people for their help in finding a 48-year-old man named Todd Marchesano.

In this video, Sheriff Woods states that Marchesano is a registered sex offender who refused to register his address with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, something that all sex offenders are required by law to do. As a result of his continued evasion of Marion County deputies, a warrant was put out for Marchesano’s arrest. In his video, Sheriff Woods directly appeals to Marchesano to turn himself in. This did not happen.

This past Thursday afternoon, officers with Marion County law enforcement received a tip indicating that Marchesano was driving a certain white minivan. The police, beginning to search, found the minivan in question and attempted to perform a traffic stop on the vehicle. Marchesano, who was indeed behind the wheel of the car, decided instead to initiate a high-speed chase through the streets of Marion County.

Numerous police cruisers were on Marchesano’s tail throughout the event, and a police helicopter flew above the fleeing minivan, capturing the whole scene on camera and ensuring that the van did not escape its pursuers.

As the chase progressed, it became clear that Marchesano was headed directly towards an intersection in Marion County that is known for being extremely busy at all times of the day. In order to prevent a larger collision that might involve innocent bystanders (and in order to prevent Marchesano from losing the deputies in the intersection), officers following behind Marchesano decided to engage the PIT maneuver. This maneuver involves the car immediately behind the one being chased to accelerate just to the point where its front end meets the back set of tires for the fleeing vehicle. The pursing driver then abruptly swerves the nose of their car into the back of the fleeing car, forcing the fleeing car’s driver to lose control and for the car itself to spin back on its own path.

On Thursday, the PIT maneuver, which can obviously be extremely dangerous, worked perfectly, and Marchesano’s van was forced into a collision with a guardrail, after which it flipped onto its side.

Both Marchesano and his passenger, Tina Nabbefeld, were arrested on numerous charges.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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