Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plant City man wanted in multiple violent crimes arrested after multi-county car chase

Jose Alberto Esparza, 39, was arrested in Plant City Thursday after leading detectives on a car chase through Hillsborough and Polk counties. Esparza is being held in Hillsborough County jail without bail on 14 charges from Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

Jose Alberto Esparza, 39, was arrested in Plant City Thursday after leading detectives on a car chase through Hillsborough and Polk counties. Esparza is being held in Hillsborough County jail without bail on 14 charges from Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk counties. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]

PLANT CITY — A man linked to multiple violent crimes in the Plant City area was arrested Thursday after leading deputies on a five-hour, multi-county chase.

Jose Alberto Esparza, 39, was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail without bail on 14 charges listed on 9 outstanding warrants, some from Polk and Manatee counties.

Two of those charges came after Thursday's chase: grand theft auto and fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer. Others include home invasion robbery with a firearm, aggravated assault, burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft, possession of a controlled substance, carrying a concealed firearm and a firearm with an altered serial number.

Detectives with the sheriff's office and the U.S. Marshals' Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force issued a Crime Stoppers release last week in hopes of finding Esparza, who is suspected in a March armed home invasion and robbery on Northview Road and an aggravated assault at the Plant City Farmer's Market earlier this month.

About 7 a.m. Thursday, detectives began trailing Esparza after spotting him in a stolen GMC pickup truck near the intersection of West Hillsborough Avenue and Turkey Creek Road in Plant City, according to the sheriff's office. When he realized he was being followed, Esparza tried to outmaneuver the detectives. Multiple backup units, including HCSO's aviation and K9 units, were called in to aid the pursuit.

Esparza drove through Plant City, eastern Hillsborough County and into Polk County before parking the truck on Mud Lake Road in Plant City, just west of Charlie Griffith Road, and fleeing on foot through a nearby neighborhood.

Responding deputies followed suit, and after a brief chase apprehended Esparza without incident.

Plant City man wanted in multiple violent crimes arrested after multi-county car chase 04/20/17 [Last modified: Thursday, April 20, 2017 7:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 3-2-1, BAM! Watch the Georgia Dome being imploded in downtown Atlanta

    Sports

    ATLANTA — One of the nation's largest domed stadiums has been destroyed in a scheduled implosion in downtown Atlanta.

    The Georgia Dome is destroyed in a scheduled implosion Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Atlanta. The dome was not only the former home of the Atlanta Falcons but also the site of two Super Bowls, 1996 Olympics Games events and NCAA basketball tournaments among other major events. [Associated Press]
  2. Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Bucs

    The Bucs win again behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a defense that creates five turnovers against the Dolphins. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the game, including …

    Jameis Winston cheers as middle linebacker Kwon Alexander  intercepts a pass during the first half of the Bucs' win over the Dolphins. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. After border agent is killed and partner injured in Texas, Trump renews call for wall

    Nation

    Authorities were searching southwest Texas for suspects or witnesses after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and his partner injured Sunday while on patrol in the state's Big Bend area, officials said.

  4. Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

    Music & Concerts

    The 2017 American Music Awards marked a night of unison, positive vibes and American pride as musicians spoke about coming together in a year dominated by natural disasters, violence and divisive politics.

    Diana Ross performs at the American Music Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. [Matt Sayles | Invision/AP]
  5. Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

    Cooking

    Take small bites.

    This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don't have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year's biggest cooking day.

    Heidi Diestel’s grandfather started Diestel Family Turkey Ranch.