Man trying to elude deputies, slammed his SUV through Lake Wales apartment

Bloodhound traced driver to nearby home

LAKE WALES, Fla. - A family of four is looking for a new home after someone rammed an SUV through their apartment.

The driver was trying to outrun deputies, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

The crash happened around 1:30 in the morning at an apartment on Elm Avenue in Lake Wales.

"I woke up to a big bang," said Roscoe Hollis, who rents the apartment with his fiance and their two kids.

Most in the neighborhood were sound asleep.

"It was like something falling out of the sky, it was bad," neighbor Albert LaRochelle said. "Big crash."

Hollis said when he got up, he could see the bumper of the SUV through his wall. The impact shattered cement blocks, windows, ruined toys, electronics, and furniture.

The SUV also broke a water spigot, so everything inside is soaked and the home is officially declared unsafe.

"The door was open and nobody was in the vehicle, so I guess they got out and just ran," he said.

Investigator say the driver is Zachary Herring, a man with two outstanding felony warrants, and an extensive criminal history.

Deputies were trailing him into the neighborhood early Thursday morning.

The Hollis family believes the driver was probably trying to elude deputies by sneaking in between their apartment and their neighbors, and into the backyard, but missed by a long shot.

Deputy Joe Ranze, with his bloodhound named Diego, quickly and easily traced the suspect through the yard and up to the back door of Herring's girlfriend's home nearby.

Investigators found him hiding inside.

He probably has no idea how close he came to killing Hollis and his fiance. Over the weekend, they happened to move their bed away from the wall to clean the carpet.

"Thank God we did that," he said. "We're lucky."

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