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Escaped Felon Ernest Lee Reese Caught in Port St. Lucie After Carjacking in Fort Pierce

Ernest Lee Reese
Ernest Lee Reese

Fort Pierce - Monday February 26, 2024: Wanted felon Ernest Lee Reese, who escaped this morning from the custody of Fort Pierce Police (FPPD) and then hijacked a car, was caught a few hours later by Port St. Lucie Police (PSLPD), with help from the United States Marshals Service.

There was already an outstanding 'Failure to Appear' warrant for the 28-year-old Reese when Fort Pierce Police officers took him into custody at 12:55 a.m. this morning on a domestic violence allegation.

However, once he was in custody, Fort Pierce Police say Reese began to complain of health issues. At 6:33 a.m. an officer took Reese to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital for a check up.

About an hour later he was medically cleared, and the officer escorted him back outside, handcuffed at the front, for transport back to jail. That's when Reese again complained about his health saying he felt feint, according to Fort Pierce Police Department Lt. James Grecco. At an afternoon news conference Lt. Grecco said the officer then took Reese back into the hospital, got him some water, brought him back out again and let him sit on the curb outside the hospital.

At 5-feet 11-inches and 200-pounds Reese "was a larger man" than the officer who was escorting him, said Lt. Grecco. "The officer let him get too far away and he took off."

The officer chased after Reese on foot, but couldn't catch up, and lost sight of him.

Moments later, Reese, still in handcuffs, jacked a car outside a doctor's office in the 1200 block of Lawnwood Circle from a person who had just arrived there to go to work.

The carjacking victim was not injured, the victims stolen vehicle was found a few hours later in the area of NW North Macedo Blvd. and NW St. James Drive in Port St. Lucie.

Port St. Lucie Police K9 Officer Corey Krecic and K9 Jaxson tracked Reese down in a wooded lot in the 3800 block of SW Daisey Street and, with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service, Reese was taken back into custody, without incident, and transported back to the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Reese is now facing charges of carjacking, escape, as well as aggravated battery, resisting an officer without violence, possession of a weapon by a felon, and the prior outstanding warrant for failure to appear. Other charges may be pending.