For Richard Westervelt, 25, breaking the law, getting chased by police, crashing cars and trying to flee despite the inescapable presence of law enforcement is becoming routine. It happened again on Tuesday in the Mondex, also known as Daytona North, netting Westervelt a half dozen charges, including aggravated fleeing and eluding, drug possession and driving on a suspended license.
Flagler County Sheriffs’s deputies have come to know Westervelt well: he has 11 bookings at the Flagler County jail since 2010, on charges that include battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding, illegally firing weapons and resisting arrest. They also knew that last week County Judge Melissa Moore-Stens had signed a warrant for his arrest on a misdemeanor drug charge, and on a charge of violating his pre-trial release agreement. And they knew where he lived.
Deputies were in the area of 2345 Blueberry Street, Westervelt’s current address, when they spotted a white Ford Explorer leave that address, and deduced that it might be Westervelt. They did not follow him, but informed another deputy in the neighborhood to be aware of the car. The car didn’t entirely stop at a stop sign, enabling that deputy to attempt a traffic stop. But as soon as deputy J. Gibson Smith activated his emergency lights, the Ford accelerated north on Hickory Street. It didn’t stop at the intersection with Walnut Avenue, continuing north at speeds Gibson estimated at 60 mph, in a 35.
The Ford took Evergreen Avenue then went south on Forest Park Street, at one point traveling in the opposite lane of traffic. Smith abandoned the chase, but the deputies who’d seen the Ford leave the Blueberry Street address were still there, and saw the car return to that property as it honked the horn repeatedly, as if to alert people at the house.
Deputies approached the vehicle once it had parked at the gate. One of the deputies immediately recognized Westervelt, according to his arrest report. At first Westerevelt was cooperative. He turned off the vehicle’s engine. But then, according to the report, he turned the car back on, crashed through the gate, then “continued to drive recklessly through the front yard and lost control of the vehicle and crashed it into the wood line and a telephone pole” in the front yard.
Westervelt got out of the car, jumped on the hood then tried to flee on foot. He didn’t get very far. He was arrested. A search of his car allegedly turned up less than 20 grams of marijuana, a methamphetamine rock and a hydrocodone pill, resulting in felony charges. Also arrested as Westervelt’s co-defendant, according to his arrest report, was Cassidy Wilson, 22, a resident of 134 Brookside Lane in Palm Coast, on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and possession of pot, under 20 grams. Wilson was released this morning on no bond. Westervelt remains at the county jail.