Before dawn this morning the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office got a “Be On the Look-Out” alert for a black Mitsubishi sedan fleeing across Clay and St. Johns counties, its occupants facing multiple felony charges, including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. They’d allegedly stolen a trunk-full of items from separate Walmart stores in Duval and Clay counties.
By 6 a.m., deputies had arrested Antrell Bryant, 27, and Michael Ellis, 35, both of Orlando. A third man is still sought. “It doesn’t seem like he’s armed and dangerous, he’s just trying not to get caught, but he will be,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said. “Nobody will tell us who he is.” There were no weapons on the two individuals or in the vehicle.
Deputies spotted the vehicle near the Flagler-St. Johns County Line, at mile marker 296 on I-95, positioning a patrol car in the emergency lane and deploying stop sticks on the highway. It didn’t work. The deputies joined others already in pursuit of the vehicle, traveling south on I-95. The Mitsubishi “became disabled” at mile marker 281, by the State Road 100 exit, according to a sheriff’s report: stop sticks there had done the job. Two occupants fled, one running southeast, the other running west. A third remained in the vehicle.
The third man was Ellis, who was detained and charged with a probation violation, pending further charges from Clay and St. Johns counties.
Deputies then set up a perimeter around Universe Court and a K-9 unit was called in. Several deputies then followed K9 Marko into the woods, where the dog alerted them to the presence of someone behind 17 Universe Court: that was Bryant, who’d been crouching in the bushes. Ordered to come out, he complied, his hands up, saying “all right, all right, all right.” He was read his Miranda rights but did not speak to cops about the incident.
The third individual was not found. He is described only as a middle-aged black man.
A search of the Mitsubishi produced numerous stolen items including Lego playsets, BluRay DVDs, kitchen appliances, much more merchandise believed to have been stolen from Walmart stores in Clay and Duval.
“These guys from Orlando thought that if they drove far enough, recklessly enough, and fast enough they would get away with multiple felony thefts and assaulting police officers but they entered the wrong county,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued today.
During the chase through the woods, Cpl. Paul DeSousa injured a knee and was briefly hospitalized, though he told the sheriff he’d be reporting to work on Tuesday.