Sarasota County man charged with 10 felony counts, including sexual assault of 70-year-old woman, theft of vehicle and fleeing to elude officers

Marcin Wasag has criminal history going back to 2005

A Sarasota County man has been charged with 10 felony counts including the sexual assault of a 70-year-old woman and the theft of a second woman’s vehicle, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

Marcin Wasag, 38, of 5101 Island Date St. in Sarasota, is being held in the Sarasota County Jail on total bond of $1,079,620 the Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division records say.

Island Date Street is southwest of the intersection of Webber Street and Honore Avenue, a map shows.

Wasag is listed on the Corrections Division form as unemployed.

Formally, he has been charged with Sexual Assault, Kidnapping, Aggravated Battery, Robbery by Sudden Snatching without a Firearm, Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Larceny, Fleeing to Elude Arrest, Resisting an Officer with Violence, Possession of Cocaine, and a traffic violation, his Probable Cause Affidavits show.

His arraignment on all the charges was scheduled for March 31, the Corrections Division notes. However, on Feb. 14 — two days after Wasag’s arrest — Assistant Public Defender Geoffrey H. Proffitt filed Wasag’s plea of “Not Guilty” in the cases, with a demand for a jury trial and a waiver of arraignment, 12th Judicial Circuit Court records show.

Just after 5 p.m. on Feb. 12, one of the Probable Cause Affidavits says, a victim whose name is being withheld called 911 to report that her vehicle had been stolen by Wasag. When deputies responded to the scene, the address of which is redacted in the affidavit, they “determined Marcin had also sexually battered [one victim] before feeling in [the other victim’s] vehicle,” the affidavit says.

A short time later, the affidavit continues, deputies located Wasag driving the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop. Although Wasag fled, the affidavit points out, deputies were able to apprehend him.

One victim told an officer that she was in the process of evicting Wasag, the affidavit notes, when the series of incidents with which he has been charged began.

After the deputies responded to the 911 call on Feb. 12, a Sheriff’s Office news release says, they found two women in the house, whose address has been redacted, as well. The women were ages 66 and 70, the release adds.

“The 70-year-old had been bound and sexually assaulted within the home,” the release says, while the 66-year-old had been robbed of $900 and her vehicle.

The 66-year-old woman told the officers that she had taken the other woman to the residence. As she was waiting outside, the affidavit continues, her phone rang. When she answered it, Wasag told her to come inside.

After she entered the house, the affidavit says, Wasag grabbed that woman from behind and held both of her arms as he marched her down a hallway toward his bedroom. There, that woman saw the 70-year-old woman on the floor. The 70-year-old told the 66-year-old that Wasag had tried to rape her, the affidavit adds.

Wasag demanded that the 66-year-old give him her keys before reaching into her right front pocket and taking them. He then left the scene in her vehicle, the affidavit continues.

The 70-year-old told officers that when she arrived at the residence, Wasag immediately grabbed her and pushed her onto the floor. He taped her wrists, ankles and mouth, the affidavit says. After he allegedly assaulted her, the affidavit adds, he used her phone to call the 66-year-old.

While he was on the phone, the 70-year-old was able to pull off some of the tape, she told the officers.

Deputies reported that the 70-year-old “had bruising and a bleeding laceration” on her left arm, the affidavit points out.

In attempting to flee from officers who tried to stop him in the allegedly stolen vehicle, Wasag crashed that vehicle, the affidavit notes. During an audio-recorded interview with an officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for injuries he had sustained, the affidavit says Wasag explained that he had been upset after an argument with one of the women. He also claimed that the key was already in the vehicle’s ignition and that it was running when he took it, the affidavit.

Further, the affidavit adds, Wasag admitted pushing one of the victims out of the way when he left the house, and he admitted to stealing $900 out of the wallet of the 66-year-old. He also told the officer that he used $300 of that money to buy crack cocaine, the affidavit notes, but he denied the alleged sexual battery.

When the officer asked him about the tape the 70-year-old reported that he had used on her — pieces of which the deputies had found outside of his bedroom — Wasag “just stated he had tape in his room,” the affidavit says. He “became agitated during the interview and requested an attorney,” the affidavit adds, so the officer “immediately stopped questioning [Wasag].”

Alleged efforts to elude arrest

The affidavit regarding the efforts to make the traffic stop involving Wasag says a deputy on patrol in the area of University Parkway and North Tamiami Trail spotted the gray Honda CRV that the 66-year-old victim had reported stolen.

When that deputy, who was driving an unmarked Chevy Tahoe, activated his emergency lights and siren, the affidavit continues, Wasag allegedly drove around other vehicles, ran a red light and then turned southbound on U.S. 41. He continued to try to outmaneuver the deputy, the affidavit notes, driving “at an extremely high rate of speed” — more than 50 mph over the posted limit — and running other red lights, as well as passing cars at intersections.

Deputies placed “stop sticks” on the road near the 4700 block of 17th Street, the affidavit says. When Wasag ran over them, the affidavit points out, the two tires on the driver’s side of the Honda deflated, forcing Wasag to slow down enough that the deputy who originally spotted him was able to perform a successful PIT maneuver and force Wasag to stop.

Wasag “swerved hard to the left” as he entered the median of the street, the affidavit says, and then crashed into a palm tree, knocking it down and causing the vehicle’s airbags to deploy. He fled on foot.

The vehicle pursuit stretched over 8 miles, the affidavit points out.

A second deputy, who witnessed the crash, saw Wasag head northbound and was able to catch up with Wasag as the latter ran through a creek, the affidavit indicates. That deputy “loudly announced” that Wasag should stop, the affidavit adds, but Wasag continued to flee, running behind nearby houses.

“At one point [Wasag] picked up a [wheelbarrow] in a defensive position,” the affidavit says.

Finally, after unsuccessfully using a Taser on Wasag, the affidavit notes, the deputy was able to tackle Wasag and take him into custody. Wasag’s “thick baggy clothing” had prevented the Taser probes from making complete contact with his body, the affidavit explains.

Following Wasag’s arrest, the affidavit adds, officers learned that Wasag’s Florida driver’s license was suspended on Jan. 26, 20212, and they could find no records of his having obtained a license at a later time.

In checking the vehicle after the incident, the affidavit says, officers found what appeared to be crack cocaine rocks on the floorboard of the passenger side. When the rocks were tested, the affidavit adds, the results showed that they had cocaine in them; they weighed 1.1 grams.

A long criminal record

A Sarasota News Leader check of 12th Judicial Circuit Court records found numerous charges filed against Wasag beginning in December 2005. Including the cases related to the incidents this week, they are detailed over three pages in the Circuit Court records maintained by the office of Karen Rushing, Sarasota County clerk of the Circuit Court and county comptroller.

A number of the cases involved traffic infractions, including a DUI charge in December 2006, a Reckless Driving count in August 2009 and a citation for having an open container of alcohol as the driver of a vehicle in October 2010.

The News Leader also saw three evictions cases involving Wasag.

The most recent case before the events of this week occurred in July 2018, when he was charged with Battery.

In that incident, the Probable Cause Affidavit said, a deputy responding to a call about a battery found the victim, whose name was redacted, and Wasag standing apart from each other “but still yelling at each other. Both the victim and [Wasag] had been drinking since they got off work at approximately [2 p.m.] that day,” the affidavit added.

Their argument, the male victim told the deputy, began over Wasag’s physical relationship with an unidentified person who also apparently was in a relationship with the victim, the affidavit indicates.

During the argument at the residence, which was on Marshall Drive in Sarasota, the affidavit says, the victim told the deputy that Wasag had placed his forearm on the victim’s chest and shoved the victim. “The victim stated he then defended himself,” with a fight ensuing, the affidavit notes.

Marshall Drive is located southeast of the intersection of Webber Street and South Shade Avenue, according to a map of Sarasota.

When the officer tried to talk with Wasag to obtain Wasag’s version of the events, the affidavit continues, Wasag “would start yelling at the victim” instead of paying attention to the officer.

Later, the victim was able to produce home surveillance video that showed Wasag shoving his elbow into the victim’s chest. Then, after the victim pushed Wasag’s elbow down, Wasag shoved his elbow into the victim’s stomach and the victim “head butted” Wasag. The physical altercation ended up with both men suffering minor injuries, the affidavit pointed out.

Wasag pleaded “Not guilty” and demanded a jury trial in that case, as well, court records show.

On Aug. 7, 2018, the State Attorney’s Office for the 12th Judicial District issued a form saying it had declined to prosecute the charge against Wasag, but the office reserved the right to pursue the case at a later time.