Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were in a standoff with a 28-year-old man on U.S. 1 starting at midafternoon today, in the area of Cemetery Road near the county line. Traffic on U.S. 1 in both directions was shut down for 90 minutes, when the man was taken into custody.
“We have the suspect in custody. He was a fugitive,” a sheriff’s spokesperson said just before 5 p.m. “They attempted to do a traffic stop on him. He stopped in the middle of the road and took himself hostage.”
The incident began when a license plate reader signaled a car driven by a man wanted on warrants. Sheriff’s deputies followed him from Royal Palms Parkway south, and requested the assistance of Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter. The driver kept going south, but slowed down south of Old Dixie Highway, at which point some communication was established between him and authorities. He told them that he wanted to die.
The incident had begun just after 3 p.m. Sheriff’s personnel mobilized several units and requested medical units from Flagler County Fire Rescue, which took up positions on Cemetery Road. Sometime after 4:40, the man surrendered without injuring himself or others.
The man, a Bunnell resident, had faced a recent misdemeanor charge in Flagler County, but that charge was dropped, and last year had been found guilty of driving on a suspended license.
It was the third time in two weeks that deputies faced an armed, suicidal man–deputies today had reports that he was armed–and through negotiations, managed to end the confrontation peacefully.