Fort Lauderdale

2 Men Found Dead on Fort Lauderdale Beach Could Be Linked to Police Chase

Chopper footage showed officers at the scene on the beach near the intersection of Oakland Park Boulevard and A1A

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Authorities are investigating after the bodies of two men were found early Tuesday morning on Fort Lauderdale Beach, and officials said the deaths could be linked to a police pursuit that ended in a crash on Interstate 95.

Fort Lauderdale Police officials said the bodies of two men were found in the 3000 block of North Ocean Boulevard just after 6 a.m. with blood splattered on the sand around them.

Chopper footage showed officers at the scene on the beach near the intersection of Oakland Park Boulevard and A1A.

The victims' identities haven't been released, and officials said the deaths were "suspicious."

Not long after the discovery was made, officers were involved in a pursuit on I-95 that started in Fort Lauderdale, not far from where the bodies were found, officials said.

Police said the pursuit began around 9:15 a.m. after they received a report that a suspect in a Jeep had rammed another vehicle and golf cart on Center Avenue in Fort Lauderdale and fled the scene.

Officers were able to get a Jeep on its side and take the driver into custody following a chase on I-95 in South Florida.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers joined in the chase, which ended with a PIT maneuver that left the Jeep rolled onto its side in the northbound lanes of I-95 near Hillsboro Boulevard.

“It could have been a lot worse. I could have been outside the vehicle,” said Michael Jones, who initially called police to report the driver of that Jeep. 

Jones told NBC 6 the driver had spent the night on a piece of property that he owns on Center Avenue. He went over Tuesday morning to ask the man to leave, but things turned violent. 

“He said he was going to kill me if I questioned him," Jones said. "He shoved me to the ground. I got up. I saw crazy in his eyes.”

Jones decided it was best to walk away, but it didn’t end there. As he was on the phone with 911, the man got into his Jeep and rammed into the side of Jones’ Porsche while he was inside the car.

The driver also clipped his friend who was in a golf cart. The man then took off. 

Police showed up to the scene on Center Avenue. As they were wrapping up with the report, the Jeep drove by again and led police on that highway chase where they eventually took the suspect into custody. 

All of this occurred just blocks away and not too long after the double homicide on the beach. It’s something Jones had heard about that morning, and like police, he’s also wondering if there’s a connection.

“I’m glad he’s in custody, especially if he had anything to do with those two murders on the beach,” said Jones. “Why did he run, why did he have weapons in his car? Why did he act so bizarrely here? Why was he drying his clothes on the branches last night?”

Authorities took the suspect into custody at the scene. His name wasn't released but officials said he was in police custody.

"The incidents occurred within close proximity and timeframe to one another and as a result detectives are looking into the possibility that the two incidents may be related," Fort Lauderdale Police said in a statement.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

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