After a man attempted to run over a police dog and a police officer, he broke into the mayor’s home and forced the police into a standoff.
Arrests and Charges
Matthew Swett, 31, of Osceola County, is now facing charges of armed burglary, two counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, use of a deadly weapon on a police K-9, fleeing to elude, leaving the scene of a crash, criminal mischief, driving on a suspended license, resisting arrest without violence, driving an unregistered vehicle, and possession of the narcotic Buprenorphine, which is an opioid that is typically used in the treatment of opioid addiction.
The passenger in Swett’s vehicle, Kaila Ellig, 32, is also facing charges of resisting arrest without violence and burglary of an occupied structure.
Haines City Police Officer William Tucker was sitting in his cruiser with his emergency lights on at approximately 2 a.m., when he noticed Swett loitering on a construction site. Swett immediately jumped into his blue 2003 Toyota and drove directly into Tucker’s cruiser head on, then drove away.
A short while later, as K-9 Officer Joseph Elam and his partner Cash were pursuing the vehicle, Swett crashed it into a ditch. Elam and Cash exited their vehicle and the officer began giving orders.
“The commands were ignored, and Swett put the vehicle in reverse and intentionally drove toward the two, striking Cash,” a Haines City spokesperson wrote in an email to WTSP. “Officer Elam, seeing what was about to happen, used the leash to pull Cash away from the accelerating vehicle into his arms, and ran, with Cash in his arms, to avoid being run over. Thanks to his quick action, K-9 Cash was not injured.”
Swett then fled the scene, crashed his vehicle again, and ran into the woods with his passenger, Ellig, before the vehicle caught fire.
Officers report that Swett and Ellig then climbed a fence, cut a hole in the screened-in back porch belonging to Haines City Mayor Morris West’s home, and refused to exit the home, despite officers’ commands.
Cash, the police dog, was then deployed, biting Swett in the leg. Officers were then able to subdue him, finding a knife and prescription drugs in his possession.
“Ellig cooperated and was arrested without further incident,” the news release stated.