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Carjacking Suspect Attempts to Mow Down 2 Flagler Deputies on I-95 in Eerie Near-Replay of 2003 Cop Fatality

| June 8, 2019

Jesse Estep has been arrested a dozen times in Flagler and Volusia counties in the past nine years, many of those times involving charges of resisting or assaulting cops, burglary and grand theft.

Jesse Estep has been arrested a dozen times in Flagler and Volusia counties in the past nine years, many of those times involving charges of resisting or assaulting cops, burglary and grand theft.

An alleged car-jacker who stole a U.S. Post Office mail truck in Volusia County was stopped in Flagler late this afternoon, but only after allegedly attempting to run over two Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies in the very same stretch of I-95 and in the way that a car thief 16 years ago killed a Flagler sheriff’s deputy as the deputy was attempting to deploy stop sticks.

The two deputies today escaped unharmed, though the incident recalled the words of the state prosecutor at the sentencing of the deputy’s assailant 15 years ago in a Flagler courtroom: “There is very little in our society that is more dangerous than these high-speed chases,” then-Assistant State Attorney Steve Nelson had said at the time.

The incident today involved Jesse Estep, a 29-year-old resident of 808 4th Street in Bunnell–at least as of his previous arrest in March–who has a long history of arrests, and of alleged vehicle thefts, in Flagler and Volusia counties.

Seven years ago he was arrested in Flagler for grand theft auto, battery and other charges, all of which were dropped. In January he was arrested in Flagler on an out-of-county warrant tying him back to Volusia, where he’s been arrested nine times in nine years, numerous times facing charges involving resisting arrest, assaulting a law enforcement officer and burglaries.

Estep was arrested again in Flagler today after allegedly twice trying to run over Flagler County sheriff’s deputies with a U.S. Post Office mail truck he’d allegedly car-jacked in Volusia and driven up to Flagler, on I-95, where he crashed it after attempting to assault the deputies with it.

It was the second time in 24 hours that a vehicle theft initiated in Volusia ended with arrests in Flagler.

sheriff scene

The sheriff at the scene of the crash with deputy Cavas. (FCSO)

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office received an alert from Volusia County around 4:30 p.m. today that a carjacking suspect was entering Flagler on I-95 northbound in the stolen mail truck. Deputies spotted the truck and initiated a pursuit, according to a release the sheriff’s office issued this evening. Deputies got out of their vehicles to drop stop sticks to slow the vehicle as it was driving recklessly and not stopping for marked law enforcement patrol vehicles.

The deputies were on the side of I-95 when Estep allegedly intentionally swerved and drove the mail truck directly toward one of them. He missed, swerved toward the other side of the road in an attempt to intentionally strike a different deputy trying to deploy stop sticks, then lost control of the truck as a back tire struck one of the stop sticks.

Estep overcorrected, crashed the truck against a guard rail at mile marker 280, then flipped the truck and ended up off the shoulder in the grass.

The eerily similar situation in July 2003 ended with the death of Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy Chuck Sease. Sease was deploying stop sticks to stop Bruce Harold Grove as Grove drove what at the time was thought to be a stolen car into Sease at 70 mph at the State Road 100 interchange with I-95. In 2004, a jury found Grove guilty of second-degree murder. A judge set that verdict aside, agreeing with defense counsel that evidence did not support a second-degree murder conviction, but sentenced Grove to 35 years in prison on a slew of other charges, including grand theft. He’s not due to be released until 2033.

The interchange was renamed in Sease’s honor. He is the last Flagler deputy to die directly in the line of duty, as the result of an assailant’s actions.

After Estep flipped the truck, Volusia and Flagler County deputies arrested him and took him to AdventHealth Palm Coast for a medical evaluation.

“This is another great example of our agencies working together,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “The suspect immediately told deputies that he was high on meth and cocaine. It is a miracle that no deputies, police officers, or other travelers on the roadway were hurt during the reckless driving of this suspect. I’m especially grateful that his efforts to injure my deputies failed.”

Estep faces charges of Grand Theft Auto, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, and two counts Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer just in Flagler. He faces additional charges in Volusia County, and may face federal charges because of his theft of federal property. The Postal Service took back possession of the truck. It is not clear what, if anything, was in the truck, or whether there was damage to anything the truck was carrying for delivery.

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19 Responses for “Carjacking Suspect Attempts to Mow Down 2 Flagler Deputies on I-95 in Eerie Near-Replay of 2003 Cop Fatality”

  1. What? says:

    Why do we even have a law for habitual offenders? I never see it used. 2 or more families could be left very broken hearted tonight because this criminal continuously runs rampant. Use our laws as intended!!!

  2. Traveling Rep says:

    First: How is this repeat offender not in prison for all his offenses prior to today’s?

    Second: if he confessed to being high on meth and cocaine, why wasn’t he also charged with dwi?

    Trash like this doesn’t belong in society at all!

  3. South Florida says:

    Flagler county was so quiet and crime free when I purchased my home in 2013. It seems to have changed quite a bit since then. I’m glad the 2 deputies are okay and they have the suspect in custody. It seems this suspect has been a free man for too long with the list of crimes committed.

  4. Greg Jolley says:

    Thank you – great writing about this frightening event.

  5. Vinnie says:

    Terminate with Extreme prejudice…….

  6. ASF says:

    A really sober individual alright. He’ll be let out on low bond. That’s the way Flagler county judges roll unless federal charges levied against this threat to society stop them from doing so.

  7. Outsider says:

    Should have lit him up.

  8. Local says:

    We need roundabouts on I95. The highway will be much safer.

  9. Agkistrodon says:

    29 eh? Folks THIS is why you should avoid Meth. Guy looks 40 plus. Everybody thinks they can buck the odds…………….

  10. TheTruth says:

    I hope this guy doesn’t get off as easy as he has in the past, I think enough is enough. He obvious likes to live the life of crime, which means he needs to stay in prison longer then ever before. Flagler County Courts have to stop letting this characters out of jail.

  11. Michael Van Buren says:

    Thank you my brothers and sisters for getting this menace off the roads. Thank God no one else was injuried or killed due to this POS’s actions.

  12. Steve says:

    Think he might need to be locked up so we have some semblance of safety nice job LEOs

  13. John Kent says:

    Please tell me again what this guy doing out on the streets?
    The judge/prosecutors that let him go again and again shall have blood on their hands soon.
    So maybe if that happens they should be on trial along with this nice young man so justice system will start changing for the best? There is never a responsibility on their part!
    Oh, and death penalty should be used on people like him too. I would rather have some unfortunate immigrants granted stay (without welfare system available of course) and work here instead of locally born bad apples running loose like that.

  14. Derrick Redder says:

    Please please let the feds charge him with the theft at least if he gets 5 yrs it’ll be a sentence with no time off for good behavior . After his Federal charges are filed let the state indict him too for the stuff the feds don’t. With proper planning he can do his 5 yrs. Upon his release from the fed time
    Keeping the citizens safe for about 10 yrs. Before he is able to walk the streets. Who knows he might even be around to vote in 2028 from jail

  15. Richard says:

    Just another example of one of our “upstanding” Florida citizens going through the revolving doors of the justice and prison system who has no desire to change his ways or rehab into someone who really contributes to our society. It will only escalate until someone is killed like officer Chuck Sease or anyone caught in this persons path of destruction. So give this asshole a one-way ticket on the ride of his life so that he never is given the opportunity to kill anyone else caught in his path.

  16. Layla says:

    This man is quite clearly a career criminal. Put him away and keep him there. Don’t give him another chance to attempt to kill somebody.

  17. gmath55 says:

    Lock your vehicles. He is out on bond.

  18. nomorepitbulls says:

    Dude is just BEGGING to go back to prison by doing things like this.
    Give him what he wants!

  19. Trailer Bob says:

    OK. IF anyone is reading this that is an elected official, WTF? What is this ahole doing out in society after his history of terror? This is Florida…not NYC. Why do judges allow these low-lifes to live amongst the rest of us??????? Where do we get these useless judges?

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