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Highlands man stuns Florida deputies

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. – A Highlands man gained national attention through his alleged antics here on March 3.

A vehicle fire on Interstate 10 in Walton County led to an unprecedented chain of events, including two stolen vehicles and a handcuffed suspect stealing a third car, a patrol car.

Early that Friday morning at about 9:50 a.m. Walton County Sheriffs Deputies responded to a vehicle fire near mile marker 85 on I-10. After the fire was extinguished it was discovered the vehicle was stolen out of DeFuniak Springs and was purposely set on fire following a crash.

Shortly after, a resident on Bob Sykes Road noticed a man sitting inside a Jeep he had rented. It looked as if an attempt to steal the Jeep was in progress. The suspect was detained at gunpoint until deputies arrived.

The suspect, identified as Cody Dwayne Hynum, 30, with a Highlands, Texas driver’s license, was cuffed and put in the back of a patrol car.

Normally that is the end of the story. It is really where this one begins.

Following his arrest it was determined Hynum had also burglarized a carport and stolen a Ford F-150 truck, which was abandoned nearby after an apparent wreck rendered it disabled.

While deputies were working both crime scenes, Hynum kicked out the rear driver’s side window and, still cuffed, was able to get out of the vehicle and gain access to the driver’s seat.

Down Woodyard Road the suspect fled. Driving without hands and in a patrol car. Hynum then hit a private citizen’s fence, punched through, drove down a driveway and struck a barrier at the road. Another vehicle disabled.

The suspect fled from the patrol vehicle into the nearby woods. The deputies were not thrown off the trail by this however as they watched him bunny hop into the wooded area. Hynum was tased during his apprehension by deputies after a short foot pursuit.

Hynum was charged with escape, two counts of grand theft auto with damages over $1,000, two counts of burglary, larceny over a $1,000, criminal mischief over $1,000, resisting arrest with violence, and fleeing and eluding.

He was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated and later booked into the Walton County Jail. Additional charges may be forthcoming. He has made statements to Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies that he was on “meth” and “flakka.”

A native of Mississippi, it may be some time before Hynum returns.