25-year-old Sarasota man charged with multiple counts following head-on collision on Siesta Key

Vehicle suspect used allegedly had been stolen in city of Sarasota the same day

Dahowd Alyan. Photo courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

A 25-year-old Sarasota man has been arrested and charged on multiple counts after he crashed head-on with another vehicle on Siesta Key and fled from the scene, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

He was driving a stolen 2010 white Mazda at the time, based on a probable cause warrant filed by the Sarasota Police Department.

The crash occurred late in the morning of Sunday, Aug. 22, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.

Dahowd Issa Alyan of 2507 Wisteria St. in Sarasota has been charged with the following: Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injuries, Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Property Damage, Driving While License Suspended, and Violation of Probation in the Sheriff’s Office cases, a news release notes. The first charge is a felony count, the formal report says.

The Police Department charged him with Grand Theft on the same day as the collision, 12th Judicial Circuit Court records note.

Altogether, his bond in the county cases was set at $1,980, the report adds. Separate bond of $1,500 was set in the auto theft case, the Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division says.

Alyan was described in the Sheriff’s Office report as a permanent legal resident of the county.

His arraignment has been set for Oct. 1 on the three charges directly related to the accident, the Corrections Division says. His arraignment on the probation violation will be in early September, the Corrections Division notes.

On Aug. 25, court records say, Alyan entered a plea of “Not guilty” in the Grand Theft case and demanded a jury trial.

Alyan has more than 20 prior local arrests on charges, including Possession of a Firearm by Convicted Felon, Burglary, Grand Theft, Fraud, and Drug Possession, the Sheriff’s Office news release points out. He remained in jail on Aug. 25. His record lists him as unemployed.

About 11 a.m. on Aug. 22, the formal Sheriff’s Office report explained, deputies responded to a 911 call about a vehicle crash involving a black SUV and white Mazda near the 4300 block of Midnight Pass Road.

The location is in the vicinity of the county’s Boyd Park, which stands in the “V” where Midnight Pass splits from Higel Avenue.

This aerial map shows the location of 4300 Midnight Pass Road on Siesta Key. Image from Google Maps

When deputies arrived on the scene, the report said, they found the white Mazda that Alyan allegedly had stolen “with heavy front end damage.” It was on the east side of the road, having struck a fence, the report noted.

The driver of the SUV was standing next to it on the west side of the road, the report continued. The deputy who wrote the report said that he “observed a large red abrasion” on the driver’s left shoulder, apparently from her seatbelt, and her face was red from having hit the vehicle’s airbag.

The woman told the deputies that she had just left her boyfriend’s house and was going home when she saw the Mazda heading south through the intersection of Higel Avenue and Midnight Pass Road. It was “in her lane [traveling] at a high rate of speed,” the report said.

When the Mazda struck her SUV head-on, she pointed out, the vehicles went into a spin.

“Both vehicles were immovable” as a result of the collision, the report added.

The woman told officers that she was “too drowsy and shaken up from the crash to remember more” at that time, the report continued. She also said that her chest and face hurt, the report pointed out, so she planned to go to her family physician.

One witness at the scene told officers that she was out walking with her boyfriend when the collision occurred. The witness added that she saw Dahowd Alyan exit the Mazda and start to walk south on Midnight Pass Road.

When the woman asked him whether he was all right, the report noted, “he responded with a ‘ughhh’” and continued walking. “He appeared to be confused and unable to walk in a steady straight line,” the witness pointed out, according to the report. The witness then called 911, the report said.

The witness later was able to provide a positive identification of Alyan, the report noted, based on a marking on his face, his build, his hair color and cut, and his stature.

A second witness ran to the scene from his house, the report continued. He “observed Alyan stumbling … down the road from the crash [site],” the report said. That witness told deputies he “found it odd,” thinking the man must have been involved in the collision, the report noted, but that witness turned his focus to the woman who had been driving the SUV, as he wanted to make certain she was all right.

The person who had been driving the Mazda when Alyan allegedly stole it also showed up at the scene, the Sarasota Police Department reported. The theft occurred shortly before 10 a.m. that day, the man, Willie Abnar, told officers.

The Mazda was described as having no damage prior to the theft, the Sheriff’s Office report said.

Moreover, the father of the driver of the vehicle that Alyan struck showed up, wanting to check on his daughter, the report pointed out. He owns the vehicle, the report said, and he noted that it also had had no damage prior to the incident.

Damage to each of the vehicles was estimated t $20,000, the report pointed out.

Deputies were unable to reach the owner of the fence, the report added. Damage to the fence was put at $10,000, the report said, as the motorized housing for the gate also would need repairs.

Alyan’s license had been suspended on Oct. 23, 2019, the report pointed out.

With assistance from the Sheriff’s Office’s Aviation, Marine and K-9 Units, as well as the Longboat Key and Sarasota police departments, deputies searched the area for Alyan, the news release explained.

“In an attempt to locate Alyan,” the release said, “a reverse 911 call was placed to all residents within a two-mile radius of the vehicle crash.” About 1 p.m., “after receiving several tips from the public, the release continued, “deputies located Alyan on foot near 2635 Mall Drive and took him into custody.”

This aerial map shows the location of 2635 Mall Drive. Image from Google Maps

The Grand Theft incident

The Sarasota Police Department report on the alleged theft of the Mazda said that that incident occurred at Moore’s Grocery, located at 1993 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota.

The driver, Willie Abnar, advised officers that he was borrowing that vehicle when he stopped at the store. After he exited the Mazda, he told officers, “he noticed a Hispanic male with lots of face tattoos standing off to the side of the property by himself,” the report said. The man was wearing “a beanie hat and all black clothes,” Abnar added, according to the report.

This is the exterior of Moore’s Grocery on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

Abnar told the officers that the suspect “looked out of place” and that Abnar never had seen the man in the area before. Abnar pointed out that he “had lived in the area his whole life and knew most of the residents and workers.”

When Abnar came out of the store, the report continued, he did not see the Mazda. Some of his friends, he explained, came over from the nearby park and told him that the Hispanic male had stolen the car and headed northbound on U.S. 301. Abnar then borrowed a phone to call 911, the report said.

Abnar had left his cell phone and wallet in the vehicle, he noted.

The officer who wrote the report pointed out that he subsequently was advised by 911 Dispatch that a New College of Florida Police Department officer had spotted the vehicle at a service station. A witness told New College officers that the witness watched an “Hispanic male wearing a beanie throw a black [cell phone] onto the ground smashing it to pieces.”

The female witness showed the phone to the New College officers when they arrived on the scene, the report added.

Then another New College officer reported seeing the Mazda at a different service station; he described a “Hispanic male wearing a beanie running from pump to pump in a strange manner,” the report said. Since that officer had just heard the “Be on the lookout” advisory about the stolen Mazda on the radio, the officer believed the Mazda he had spotted was the same vehicle.

A map shows the location of Moore’s Grocery in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

“As he tried to pull behind it,” the report continued, “the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed” southbound on U.S. 41.

Shortly afterward, the report noted, the Sarasota Police Department officer who wrote the report received notice of the crash on Siesta Key.

When that officer went to the scene of the Siesta incident, he continued, he saw a blue and orange beanie, red sandals and a silver watch next to the Mazda as Sheriff’s Office personnel processed it. Then Abnar arrived, the report said, and confirmed for officers that the beanie and sandals appeared to match those he had seen on the suspect at Moore’s Grocery.

Further, Abnar told the officers that he recalled someone having told him that the suspect from the store was in the park where Abnar’s friends had been earlier in the day; the suspect was trying to sell a watch, the friends had reported.

A long list of criminal records

In a search of 12th Judicial Circuit Court records, The Sarasota News Leader found cases involving Alyan going back to January 2015. The most recent ones, prior to the Aug. 22 incidents, involved the January 2019 adjudication of a domestic violence case dating to 2010 and a case with counts of Petit Larceny and Resisting and Officer without Violence dating to April 2019.

Alyan also was charged with Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle on April 3, 2019, records show. That incident occurred on Pamela Wood Way in Sarasota, the records note. Through neighborhood surveillance footage, deputies were able to identify Alyan in that case, the report said.

This is the location of the 2500 block of Wisteria St. in Sarasota, where the suspect lives. Image from Google Maps

After officers located the stolen vehicle in front of a Bruce Lane residence, the report added, they found Alyan’s girlfriend inside and took her into custody, “as she had unrelated warrants for her arrest.”

Following their removal of the girlfriend from the home, the report continued, “[D]eputies discovered that [Alyan] … also was inside. [He] was uncooperative,” resisting the deputies who were trying to take him into custody.

During an interview with deputies, after he had been read his rights, Alyan said he was “ too f–ked up to remember” what had happened, the report noted. When a deputy asked him to elaborate, the report continued, Alyan responded that “he had used so many drugs that he could not remember the last four days.”

On April 23, 2019, that case was consolidated with another one, court records show.

In a case related to the April 2019 incidents, court records say, Alyan was charged with Armed Burglary of a Conveyance and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Again, video surveillance enabled officers to identify Alyan, that report said. Video captured Alyan entering Crestlake Villas, located at the intersection of Honore Avenue and Wilkinson Road. Moments later, that report added, the victim reported that a .380 Ruger handgun had been removed from his Ford Edge, which he had left about 100 feet from the spot where Alyan was observed on video.

This aerial map shows the location of Crestlake Villas in Sarasota. Image from Google Maps

The victim of the gun theft ultimately declined to press charges, the court records show.

In yet another case, dating to September 2017, Alyan was charged with battery of a person over the age of 65. The address listed for that incident was the same as the address the Sheriff’s Office provided for Alyan after the Aug. 22 incident on Siesta Key.

The 2017 report said that a woman told officers that she was arguing with Alyan because he “wanted to leave the house to get drugs,” and a second person in the house also was “begging him not to.”

The person Alyan allegedly battered said he pushed her as he walked to the front door, and she lost her balance, which resulted in her falling onto the side of the couch. The victim told officers “she was scared of Alyan and was not sure what he was going to do next.”

Alyan also resisted officers as they tried to arrest him in connection with that incident, the report noted.

In December 2017, Alyan pleaded “No Contest” in the case. The court implemented a payment plan, records show, with $1,372 due. In April of this year, that case was sent to a collection agency, court records note.