Three young men were arrested and sent to the Flagler County jail Friday, and a juvenile was also arrested, after the quartet allegedly fled in a stolen vehicle and hid in the woods before being caught.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a reckless driver southbound on I-95 Friday afternoon. A few minutes later a License Plate Reader–automated scanners in place at many intersections–alerted to a stolen vehicle that matched the description of the reckless driver just before 5:30 p.m. on Palm Coast Parkway.
Units began looking for a gray 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe that was reported stolen to the Holly Hill Police Department. The vehicle was spotted by a Problem Area Crime Enforcement (PACE) unit. Patrol deputies used stop sticks in an attempt to stop the vehicle before activating emergency lights. The stolen vehicle began to drive in a reckless manner and speed with complete disregard for the safety of other drivers while ignoring all law enforcement efforts to stop it.
Deputies aborted the chase in compliance with department policy, since the chase could have endangered other drivers or pedestrians. They set-up a perimeter in the area and called-in FireFlight, the county’s emergency helicopter, to assist. A short time later, a resident on Banner Lane called 911 to report seeing three men run through her yard and jump over her privacy fence.
Deputies responded and found the stolen vehicle in a driveway on Banner Lane. The vehicle was unoccupied. The engine was still running. FireFlight flew over the scene and K-9 units began to track the individual. The four were soon located in the wood line near Bannbury Lane. The four are Jemari Overstreet, 18, Steven Johnson, 20, Heron Burson, 18, and a 16-year-old whose first name is James. All four are from Daytona Beach.
“I was out with our deputies during this incident and it was clearly evident that the driver of the stolen vehicle had complete disregard for the safety of other motorists on the roadway,” Sheriff Rick Staly, who regularly conducts Friday evening patrols, said. “They could have caused a very serious crash by their actions. I am proud of our deputies for safely apprehending these suspects and taking them in to custody without anyone getting hurt. This is another great example of our teamwork, technology and strategies working to quickly apprehend criminals with support from the community.”
At 6:30 p.m., all four were placed under arrest and transported to the county jail. Overstreet, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with Grand Theft, Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement, Driving without a Driver’s License, Burglary of a Conveyance, Burglary of a Dwelling, Resisting an Officer without Violence, and Loitering or Prowling. Burson, Johnson and James were arrested and charged with Burglary of a Conveyance, Burglary of a Dwelling, Resisting an Officer without Violence, and Loitering or Prowling. Burson was also charged with Giving a False Name to Law Enforcement. Burson is currently on felony juvenile probation for Burglary and Grand Theft.