Guilty Verdict in Stolen Car Case

Tony Ray Bethune was found guilty as charged of Fleeing to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer at High Speed or Wanton Disregard and Driving While License Suspended, Revoked, or Canceled with Knowledge. They jury returned the guilty verdict Friday evening, following a two-day trial in Lee County.

On April 25, 2020, a Fort Myers Police Officer spotted a car that had been reported stolen. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver proceeded at a high rate of speed, almost hitting other cars as it fled. The officer saw the defendant, later identified as Bethune, driving the car. The defendant proceeded through stop signs without stopping.

Bethune ended up driving down a one-way street. He got out of the car and ran behind a house. Three officers, along with a K-9 partner “Gunny,” tracked the defendant through a wooded area. He was caught as he exited towards a residence. The defendant, who had been driving on a suspended license, was taken into custody.

Assistant State Attorney Ryan Pomponio and Assistant State Attorney Taryn Vaughn prosecuted the case.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office