Suspect hospitalized following arrest in Sarasota on drug, escape charges

May 8th, 2015 by Staff

Kaafi, 33, had more than a dozen arrests in Sarasota County since 2005.


(BTLS Staff) SARASOTA, Fla. – A 33-year-old habitual offender is in the hospital and not expected to recover after he experienced medical distress Wednesday night after he escaped from a patrol car following his arrest on resisting arrest charges.

John Paul Kaafi is being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

According to a Sarasota Police Department report he was detained following a traffic stop just before 9 pm Wednesday. Remnants of cocaine were found in his possession, and given his history of drug-related arrests he was detained by officers.

Kaafi, who has an extensive criminal history that includes four stints in state prison, kept telling officer he did not want to go to jail for he was afraid of losing custody of his children.

The suspect continued to resist commands and was obviously agitated by the turn of events. He was eventually handcuffed, arrested and place in the back of an SPD patrol car. While en route to the jail, Kaafi asked the officer driving the patrol car to roll down the window and turn up the air conditioner because of an asthma condition.

At the intersection of US 301 and Ringling Blvd. Kaafi dove out of the window and started to run. He was eventually recaptured but not before being tasered twice.

As he was being booked into the jail the suspect complained he was having an asthma attack. An ambulance was called and Kaafi was transported to SMH.

Before his medical episode he was facing cocaine possession, escape and resisting arrest charges.

The officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident that led to the suspect’s hospitalization. The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency in this probe the report states.

Kaafi’s prior arrests include a variety of mostly drug-related charges. He was last released from state prison in April 2014 after serving 10 months on a fleeing to elude conviction out of Sarasota County.


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