Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office

March 7, 2024 – Port Charlotte, FL

A motorcyclist fled an attempted traffic stop at a high rate of speed, unaware that the Aviation Unit tracked him to his destination – where an arrest was made.

On March 4, 2024, members of the CCSO Traffic Unit partnered with members of the CCSO Aviation Unit to conduct a traffic initiative in response to the large number of complaints of speeding motorcycles on the roadways.

As deputies patrolled, they noticed a small group of motorcycles and developed probable cause to conduct a traffic stop. Before initiating the stop, deputies photographed the bikes as evidence and in effort to identify the drivers should they flee, as this has been a common trend recently. The photographs clearly showed the license plates of the bikes, including one with a Pennsylvania tag.

As the deputies activated their emergency lights to begin a traffic stop, two motorcyclists yielded and pulled over. A third driver, however, made a U-turn and looked directly at the deputy’s vehicle (with lights and siren activated) before accelerating quickly and fleeing.

The deputy contacted the Aviation Unit, who were in the area as part of this initiative. The Aviation Unit quickly located the motorcycle and tracked the driver as he continued to ride in a reckless manner at a high rate of speed. The reckless nature of the driving included running a stop sign and passing a truck towing a boat in a no-passing zone, well over the posted 40MPH speed limit. The motorcycle was then seen pulling into the driveway of a home on Magnolia Ave. in Port Charlotte. This information was relayed to Traffic Unit deputies, who responded to the residence.

As they arrived, a man matching the physical build of the rider was seen exiting the garage of the home through a side door. Deputies asked the man, identified as Trevor Gardner (12/02/2001), where his motorcycle was, to which he replied, “I plead the fifth.” When asked if he was from Pennsylvania, he replied in the same manner. Deputies then knocked on the door of the residence and were greeted by a man who confirmed the photograph of Trevor’s bike and that the person on the bike was Trevor. He further stated that the motorcycle was in the garage and signed a waiver of search before opening the garage door, where deputies could clearly see the bike parked. The VIN number was checked, which showed the bike to be registered to Trevor Gardner, although with a Florida tag. That tag was not located on the bike.

Gardner was placed under arrest for the felony charge of Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement with Wanton Disregard and for the misdemeanor charge of the falsified registration/license plate. The deputy also provided Gardner with multiple moving violation citations for the reckless driving that was observed.