By CANDACE J. SAMOLINSKI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: Feb 19, 2003
WESLEY CHAPEL - As hostage negotiators hovered nearby, Nicholas Daicoff sat in a borrowed Ford F-150 pickup truck on Interstate 75 and contemplated his next move. He decided to get naked.
The 29-year-old newlywed told his bride, Louisa Meyer, that shedding their clothes would make them ``appear closer'' and the situation would ``go away,'' Meyer, 28, told the Florida Highway Patrol after her ordeal Tuesday evening. She said she agreed to strip out of desperation.
The ordeal began when Trooper Chris Todd spotted a truck with a missing tire and started a pursuit near the Hernando-Pasco county line. The right front rim sparked as Daicoff sped along at 85 mph, but he wouldn't stop, troopers said. The tire had come off during a hit-and-run crash in Sumter County on Interstate 75, troopers said.
Three drivers had called 911 to complain that a man in a Ford truck was ``beating a woman passenger,'' troopers said. One caller accused him of waving a pistol.
Once the truck came to a stop, Todd saw Daicoff punching Meyer in the face and body, officials said. He used a loudspeaker to order Daicoff to stop and exit the truck. Instead, the couple sat on the shoulder, about a quarter-mile north of State Road 54, surrounded by Pasco County sheriff's deputies and highway patrol troopers for about 45 minutes. The interstate was deserted except for cruisers that packed the median. Rush- hour traffic was backed up from the exits at State Roads 52 and 54.
Negotiations were at a standstill.
Daicoff refused to leave the truck he had borrowed from his roommate, James Wallace.
He tried to crank the engine, but it wouldn't budge. Even if it had, troopers said, he wouldn't have gotten far.
As deputies and troopers waited, the couple removed their clothing and threw it out the truck's window. Just before 5:30 p.m., Meyer got out and ran toward troopers. But Daicoff's screams of ``I love you'' caused her to stop, troopers said. When he tried to run after her, officials intercepted him.
Meyer suffered abrasions to her face, neck and arm but refused medical treatment, troopers said. Officials did not find a weapon in the truck.
Daicoff was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police, domestic battery, leaving the scene of a crash, and resisting an officer without violence. He was being held without bail Tuesday night at the Land O' Lakes jail, a deputy said.
Daicoff, of St. Pete Beach, is a licensed contractor who married Meyer in November, records state. They were returning from visiting her parents in Newberry when something went awry, investigators said. He has no criminal history, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Meyer told troopers her husband had been depressed recently.
This is priceless: "The 29-year-old newlywed told his bride, Louisa Meyer, that shedding their clothes would make them ``appear closer'' and the situation would ``go away.'"
Jeeeez .. unbelievable.
But, he's a chiropractor .. he kneads a break!!