On Tuesday, February 25th, a member of the Sheriff’s Office Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) attempted a traffic stop on a white Ford pickup truck on Andrew Road in Defuniak Springs. The vehicle was in violation of Florida State Statute 316.610, due to the front windshield being cracked in multiple places and the right rear taillight was broken. The driver, 35 year old Bernard Durham, of 88 Lake Rosemary Circle, Defuniak Springs, was also seen by the deputy not wearing a seatbelt. The deputy initiated his emergency lights and Durham accelerated the pickup truck in an attempt to elude the deputy. The pickup was found abandoned off Howell Avenue. A K9 unit responded to the area to start a track. K9 “Duko” did a free air sniff and alerted on the pickup truck. Deputies found methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, pseudofedrin and valium. Sergeant Nick Bearden and K9 “Duko” tracked Durham’s scent to an abandoned mobile home where he was taken into custody.
Durham told deputies he was not feeling well and EMS responded to the scene. Durham was transported to Healthmark Regional Hospital for an ongoing medical condition and was admitted into the intensive care unit. Durham walked out of the hospital without being discharged by the medical staff. Video surveillance shows Durham leaving with a Phillips brand telemetry transmitter heart monitor on his person. On Wednesday, February 26th, the POP Unit responded to 278 Ward Road, Defuniak Springs, where deputies found Durham hiding in the bathroom and was taken into custody. Durham is charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, resisting an officer without violence, drug possession, narcotic equipment possession and larceny.