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IRC Sheriff Deputies, Pursuing Suspects, Attacked by a Swarm of Bees


Indian River County - Wednesday May 24, 2023: Indian River County Sheriff's Office Deputies were attacked by an angry swarm of bees last week as they chased three suspects into a dense woods near mile marker 11 on State Road 60. The suspects and K-9 Mako also got stung.

The chase began earlier that day, Wednesday May 17, when Florida Highway Patrol attempted a traffic stop on a silver Acura on I-95. The vehicle refused to stop and raced away.

Numerous units and agencies responded, including the MC Sheriff's helicopter, along with K-9 units, patrol deputies, and the Sebastian Police Department. They followed the Acura almost 20 miles west of I-95 where the vehicle was ultimately abandoned and all three male subjects fled on foot into the densely wooded area adjacent to State Road 60.

IRC Sheriff Corporal Ernesto Macias, and Deputy Ricardo Ferrer with K-9 Mako, trudged through thick underbrush and canals with chest-deep mud and located the suspects hiding under palmetto bushes. K-9 Mako apprehended one of the suspects while two deputies secured the others.

The apprehensions happened moments before a large swarm of angry bees descended upon the area, making the difficult trek back to the road all the more challenging. No one sustained serious injuries from the bee stings.

View the body camera footage of the apprehension here>

A search of the three suspects yielded the keys to the Acura, marijuana, and live ammunition.

The three suspects have been identified as 20-year-old Joel N. Brown, 22-year-old Markaveli J. Butler, and 15-year-old Jacques Snow. All three are from the West Palm Beach area. They were transported to the Indian River County Jail.

They all face local felony charges of fleeing/eluding as well as resisting arrest without violence. Butler, whose bond is $5,000, is also being held on an Immigration and Customs detainer and an active felony warrant out of Hillsborough County. Brown has been released from the county jail after posting his $55,000 bond.