Man appeared to be high on narcotics after hit-and-run crash in Miami, police say

Maxwell Lagutenko, 25, accused of crashing into 3 vehicles Sunday

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

MIAMI - A man who was arrested Sunday in connection with a hit-and-run crash in Miami appeared to be high on narcotics, an arrest report stated.

According to the report, Maxwell Lagutenko, 25, was driving north Sunday on Biscayne Boulevard when he crossed the median and struck an oncoming vehicle that was heading south on Biscayne Boulevard near Northeast 34th Street.

Police said Lagutenko continued driving north in the southbound lanes, crossed the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 36th Street and crashed his SUV into two other vehicles.

Cellphone video taken after those crashes showed multiple drivers getting out of their cars and trying to stop Lagutenko from leaving. 

"That's crazy. You know, you have a crash, you stop," witness Anthony Jimenez said.

What Jimenez didn't see were the attempts by people to pull Lagutenko from his vehicle before he took off. In the video, one man screams, "Don't move."

As Lagutenko reversed his SUV, he then headed west on Northwest 36th Street, where another man pulled off the door handle of his vehicle. Moments before, another driver got out of his white van and broke every window of the SUV with a sledgehammer.

Police said an officer who was unaware of the hit-and-run crashes tried to pull over the SUV Lagutenko was driving on Federal Highway and 48th Street because Lagutenko was driving recklessly and the officer noticed the extensive damage to his SUV.

But police said Lagutenko failed to stop and the officer backed off because of the Miami Police Department's no-chase policy for non-violent crimes. 

Police said Lagutenko was arrested after a Fire Rescue crew that was treating him stopped at the crash site and asked the officer who was taking the accident report whether their patient was involved in the crash. 

According to the arrest report, Lagutenko was evaluated at Jackson Memorial Hospital before being taken to jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

He faces charges of fleeing and eluding police, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and reckless driving. 

Copyright 2018 by WPLG - All rights reserved.