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Top Story - April: Arrest made in Longboat Key hit-and-run case

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  • | 1:00 p.m. December 24, 2017
  • Longboat Key
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Police arrested a Sarasota man April 14 in connection with a Longboat Key hit-and-run incident that left a Nova Scotia man in critical condition.

Officers of the Longboat Key Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 28-year-old Michael James Rowe, Jr. on charges of leaving the scene of a traffic crash with great bodily injuries, according to Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming.

Additional charges are expected in relation to this incident, Cumming added. Rowe was also arrested for two outstanding warrants, which are unrelated to the hit-and-run investigation.

The hit-and-run occurred just before 2 p.m. on April 2 in the 4900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

While driving a white 2005 Dodge pickup truck southbound on GMD, Rowe allegedly struck Mike MacCormick, who was heading south on GMD on a bicycle. Rowe is accused of fleeing the scene without rendering aid.

MacCormick was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton with critical injuries.

At the time of the incident, Cumming said Rowe had just left Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island. Rowe’s girlfriend was also in the vehicle, Cumming said, and both individuals had been consuming alcohol.

One witness of the incident, who was on the opposite side of the street, said he saw a white pickup truck pass MacCormick. As the truck passed, the witness heard a thump and someone shout an expletive, then saw MacCormick lying on the ground.

The witness could not provide a description of the driver.

Longboat Key Police Sergeant Robert Borque, who headed the investigation, scoured Key license plate recognition footage to identify the vehicle. Upon investigation, Borque connected the vehicle to a Sarasota resident. The suspect and truck, which had front-end damage, were found at the 4000 block of McIntosh Road in Sarasota.

The truck was seized as evidence, and Rowe was placed under arrest and transported to the Sarasota County Jail.

Cumming said his department approached this case as “a very serious matter” from the onset.

“We investigated this case exhaustively,” he said.

Cumming commended Borque in particular for his efforts.

"(Borque) is a very skilled investigator," Cumming said. "He worked tirelessly on it from the beginning."

MacCormick remains at Blake Medical Center, where his wife Brenda Ryan said he is “recovering quite well.”


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