VCSO: Escaped New Smyrna Beach sex offender captured in nearby Edgewater

Sex offender Luis DeJesus captured in New Smyrna Beach / Headline SurferPhoto for Headline Surfer / A manhunt Wednesday resulted in the apprehension of convicted sex offender Luis Alberto Hernandez Dejesus who earlier in the day broke free from a deputy in New Smyrna Beach.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A 31-year-old convicted sex offender who broke free from a Volusia County Sheriff's deputy in New Smyrna Beach earlier in the day Wednesday, was apprehended and taken into custody just after 11 p.m., an agency spokesman said.

Luis Alberto Hernandez Dejesus stayed hidden for several hours after fighting with a Volusia County Sheriff's Office deputy and escaping his arrest while still handcuffed But he finally came out of hiding late Wednesday night and when he did, deputies nabbed him.

At 10:30 p.m. a citizen spotted a suspicious man near Blackbeards Inn, 701 N. Dixie Freeway, with no shirt on and running awkwardly with his hands in front of him.

Deputies converged on the area and 10 minutes later another citizen tip came in that the man was seen running southbound along some nearby railroad tracks. Then at 11:10 p.m., Dejesus was found at the intersection of 10th Street and the railroad tracks in Edgewater where he was taken into custody with further incident.

"He had not suffered any significant injuries and was still wearing handcuffs," Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught told Headline Surfer of DeJesus' capture.

"He had not suffered any significant injuries and was still wearing handcuffs," Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught told Headline Surfer of DeJesus' capture.

DeJesus was charged with failure to properly register as a sex offender, battery on a law enforcement officer and escape. He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach.

The incident started shortly before 1 p.m. when deputies took the suspect into custody at a location in New Smyrna Beach. Dejesus, a convicted sex offender out of north Florida had been living in the New Smyrna Beach area. Convicted sex offenders are required by Florida law to register their address with law enforcement.

A deputy located Dejesus in New Smyrna Beach and took him into custody for moving without notifying authorities of his new address, as required by law. A deputy placed Dejesus in handcuffs and was getting ready to put him in the back of a patrol car when he attacked the deputy, broke free and took off running.

Dejesus bolted through a marshy mangrove before jumping into a tributary of the Indian River. The escape sparked a massive search from the ground and air, with patrol deputies and investigators, a Sheriff's K-9 unit and a helicopter involved in the hunt. New Smyrna Beach police and county beach safety units also assisted in the search.

The search started near an auto lot in the 1300 block of North Dixie Freeway before spreading into nearby Edgewater, Haught said.

The deputy who was attacked sustained minor cuts, lacerations and bruises in the scuffle. His name was not released.

FAST FACTS: Luis Alberto Hernandez Dejesus

Profile of captured sex offender Luis DeJesus in New Smyrna Beach, FL / Headline SurferLast known address: 615 1/2 Dora St, New Smyrna Beach FL 32168
Age: 31, DOB: 1982-05-18
Height: 5 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 152
Race/Ethnicity: White/Hispanic
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Brown
Alias(es): Luis A Hernandez, Luisa Dejesus, Luis Alberto Dejesus, Luis Hernandez Dejesus, Luis Alberto Hernandez, Luis A Dejesus
Offense: Lewd or lascivious molestation victim 12-15 years old by offender 18 or older.
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.