Deputy Sheriff John Mecklenburg Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Florida EoW: Sunday, July 3, 2011

Deputy Sheriff John Mecklenburg | Hernando County Sheriff's Office, FloridaHernando County Sheriff's Office, Florida

Deputy Sheriff
John Mecklenburg

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Florida
End of Watch: Sunday, July 3, 2011

Biographical Info

Tour of Duty: 2 years, 6 months
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Vehicle pursuit
Date of Incident: July 3, 2011
Weapon Used: Automobile
Suspect Info: Apprehended

Agency Contact Information

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
18900 Cortez Boulevard
Brooksville, FL 34601
Phone: (352) 754-6830

Deputy John Mecklenburg was killed in an automobile accident in Pasco County while involved in a vehicle pursuit.
Officers from the Brooksville Police Department had started pursuing a vehicle on U.S. Highway 41 at approximately 4:40 am. Deputies joined in the pursuit and attempted a PIT maneuver on the vehicle. The driver was able to regain control of his vehicle and continued to flee. Deputy Mecklenburg continued to pursuit the vehicle into Pasco County. His vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree near the intersection of Painter Road.
His cruiser caught fire upon impact, but other officers in the pursuit were able to extinguish the flames. He was flown to a hospital in Tampa where he succumbed to his injuries. Another deputy was also injured earlier in the pursuit when his vehicle crashed.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested by members of the Florida Highway Patrol a short time later after being pursued through four counties.
Deputy Mecklenburg was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for two years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.

BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County deputy died Sunday after crashing during a chase to catch a reckless driver.

The deputy, John Mecklenburg, 35, a father of two, has been with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for more than two years. He died after being critically injured and flown to St. Joseph Hospital in Tampa.

The suspect who sparked the chase, Michael James Anthony, 35, of Silver Springs near Ocala, was later arrested without incident in Pinellas County.

The patrol and the Hernando Sheriff’s Office provided this account of the chase:

It began around 4:30 a.m. when Brooksville police spotted a driver going the wrong way on U.S. 41. Police tried to stop the suspect, but he sped away in a 1991 Honda Accord.

Hernando County deputies joined the chase.

The deputies used their cruisers to try to force the suspect to stop, but failed and the suspect kept speeding on U.S. 41.

At the intersection with Ayers Road, a deputy lost control of his car and struck a pickup truck and a power pole. Authorities identified the deputy as Sgt. Brandon Ross, who sustained minor injuries.

Another deputy, Mecklenburg, continued the pursuit, as it went south into Pasco County.

Just south of the intersection with Painter Place, Mecklenburg lost control of his car, and it struck a tree. The car briefly caught fire, but the blaze was extinguished by other units.

Mecklenburg was flown to St. Joseph’s.

The suspect continued to flee through Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and other motorists called 911 to report the reckless driving.

Finally, after 5 a.m., a trooper spotted the suspect’s car with three flat tires off the shoulder of Fourth Street N, south of Interstate 275, in Pinellas County.

As the trooper approached, the suspect walked from the tree line along the roadway and surrendered.

Anthony, the suspect, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with unspecified injuries. The patrol said he would later be booked into the Pinellas County Jail on multiple charges.

Anthony has previous convictions on charges of burglary, grand theft and grand theft of a motor vehicle and was sentenced to a year in prison in 2004 after he was convicted of fleeing and eluding in Hardee County, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Deputy Mecklenburg was born in Green Bay, Wis., in 1976.

He graduated from Springstead High School in 1994, from the Pasco Hernando Community College Law Enforcement Academy in 2007, and served in the Army.

The Sheriff’s Office said he was married to Penny Mecklenburg and had two children — Jessica, 18 months, and Andrew, 5.


7 Responses to “Deputy Sheriff John Mecklenburg Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, Florida EoW: Sunday, July 3, 2011”

  1. 1 Pamela Ashley (Deputy Charles VanMeter's MOM) July 3, 2011 at 18:26

    my heart goes out to his wife and children for their loss. There is NO WORDS THAT CAN TAKE THE PAIN AWAY…4 THAT, I APOLOGIZE; AND itne feeling of COMPLETE DEVASTATION AND PARALLIZING SHOCK, I SYMPATHIZE . We r members of a very exclusive “CLUB” THAT NO-ONE SHOULD BELONG TO ! MY DEEPEST CONDOLENCES AND HEARTFELT sorrow. At inU loss !

  2. 3 Ashley Badiukiewicz July 7, 2011 at 12:07

    My heart goes out to family. I would see them in church every Sunday. Its sad to hear that he died so young. John graduated from the high school I did just 14yrs before I did. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Penny, Jessica, and Andrew. They are great people and my heart goes out to them all! I will always remember the things that John has told me.


    GO EAGLES! (:

    RIP John Mecklenburg. Forever in our hearts ♥

  3. 4 K.Robinson August 7, 2011 at 12:43

    Penny Mecklenurg was my Biology teacher;my prayers go out to her family.Im sorry for your lost.


  4. 5 Misty August 24, 2011 at 23:09

    I understand and am saddened by the loss. My problem is why on earth was this deputy driving so fast and reckless himself to destroy his car and kill himself.
    This drunk driving criminal managed to evade deputies with 2 flat tires yet 2 deputys cars were destroyed.
    Why do officers drive worse and more dangerous than the drunks they chase?

    • 6 themunz August 25, 2011 at 01:22

      Hardly worse than the drunks that they chase. If you read the articles, people were calling from multiple counties to report the drivers reckless actions.

  5. 7 Emily November 29, 2011 at 21:40

    R.I.P. I remember him from being one of my regulars at my job, he actually came in a night or two before he died…..I will never forget how nice he was. Im so sorry to everyone’s loss.

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