Road rage suspect Brandon Cook waives extradition in Florida

Local News

A suspect in a road rage incident along U.S. 30 that left a man dead earlier this month has been arrested in coastal Florida.

Police in Bay County, Florida have confirmed that Brandon M. Cook was taken into custody Thursday night on a warrant for felony involuntary manslaughter related to the Aug. 8 death of Orlando Fernandez, 60. Cook is a suspect in the U.S. 30 road rage incident that left Fernandez dead.

In Cook’s initial courtroom appearance in Bay County, he waived his right to extradition.  He is expected to return back to Allen County in the next 14 days; however, it may come sooner.  

The Bay County Sheriff’s Department said Cook was in custody and had been booked into the Bay County Jail, in Panama City.

According to a probable cause affidavit released by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Friday, authorities found Cook at the Raccoon River Campgrounds in Panama City Beach.

According to a release from the sheriff’s office, the U.S. Marshals had information suggesting Cook might be in the Panama City Beach area. Within in an hour of getting that information, the sheriff’s department began surveillance of the campgrounds, where Cook was living in a tent. He was spotted when he began cooking a meal at the campsite. He was arrested without incident around 8:50 p.m. Thursday.

It’s not clear how they learned Cook was at the campground, which sits just off the waterfront of the popular tourist destination.  

James Smith, a man who claimed to be Cook’s half-brother, told NewsChannel 15 that his mom and sister called him and told him about the arrest. According to them, Cook was on the phone with someone they knew, and that person heard police in the background telling Cook to get on the ground before the phone went dead.

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