Saturday night before 8 p.m. a 70-year-old resident of Coral Reef Court in Palm Coast reported to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office that a shirtless man in sweatpants had just stolen her Honda CR-V.
The man had also allegedly assaulted the woman in the carjacking. The man was in the neighbors’ lot when he saw the 70 year old drive up and exit her car, her car keys in hand. He approached her aggressively and yelling something incomprehensible, along with demands that she yield her car. She tried to evade him, he ran after her, grabbed her forcefully and snatched the keys from her hand before getting in the car, backing out, reversing aggressively against an oncoming car and almost crashing into it but for the other car’s quick evasive maneuver, then fleeing–through the woman’s yard.
It was Angelo Thomas Walsh’s latest in a long history of convictions for violent crimes, as law enforcement would soon find out.
A Ring Doorbell video of the incident catches Walsh first in the driveway directly in front of the camera, fiddling inside a car and muttering before walking away toward a passing car and either punching the car as it drives by or throwing keys at it (what was reported to dispatchers as possibly a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle, though it was the other way around). Walsh then quickly walks toward the victim, who was exiting her car, and demands her keys. “Get out of here!” the woman is heard shouting repeatedly, as Walsh gets in the car. “Help, help, please help,” the woman yells to an empty neighborhood.
Not long afterward Sgt. Jonathan Dopp spotted a silver vehicle matching the description of the stolen Honda, driving erratically north on Palm Harbor Parkway. (A license plate check later verified that it belonged to the 70-year-old woman.) Dopp was driving in the opposite direction. He had to pull aside to let the Honda pass safely, as it had been straddling the center lane marker.
Dopp turned around, activated emergency lights and followed as the driver of the Honda, who would later be identified as Walsh, of 15 Blackwood Court in Palm Coast, sped up to 70 mph. Walsh, 38, though he appears considerably older, is a convicted felon many times over. He was released from state prison last August after a two-year sentence for fleeing police with no regard for the safety of others, and for grand theft auto–the exact same charges he would end up facing once deputies arrested him Saturday. He had also served a prison term that ended in 2016, also for grand theft, plus trafficking in stolen property.
Four days before Saturday’s incident, he was found guilty of domestic battery and possession of a drug without prescription. His victim was his live-in girlfriend of a year. A passer-by had witnessed Walsh near a street, on top of the victim, pounding the victim with both his closed fists until the witness honked the horn. Walsh then grabbed the woman and dragged her by the waist further into the woods. He was sentenced toi a year’s probation–probation he has now allegedly violated.
As he drove the stolen Honda Saturday, Walsh continued erratically, according to Dopp’s description in an arrest report, “forcing other motorists off the road, tailgating and driving into oncoming traffic.” Another deputy saw Walsh on Florida Park Drive driving into oncoming traffic “in a manner which demonstrated a wanton disregard for the safety of several other vehicles and their occupants.” Walsh then drove over a pedestrian walkway not intended for cars, where deputies lost sight of the vehicle. But not much later the Honda was reported to have somehow struck a house at 35 Black Bear Lane in the Woodlands, then fleeing again. Dopp spotted the car on Old Kings Road, going north.
“I proceeded through the Woodlands and then south on Old Kings Rd where I again located the vehicle traveling northbound in the area of Utility Dr.,” the sergeant reported. Walsh turned into a CVS parking lot, and went back south on Old Kings, then crashed into a tree after smashing through several bushes in front of Red Roof Inn. Walsh got out and fled into the Red Roof Inn in what would be a foretaste of his latest stint at the greener one, as the sheriff is fond of referring to it. The run through the motel was brief. Walsh got out through another door.
But there was Dopp.
“The suspect dropped into what’s commonly referred to the fetal position, a few feet from the exit of the Red Roof Inn,” the report states. “The Suspect was not responding to commands to place his hands behind his back. The suspect was unable to sit still and spoke unintelligibly, in a manner consistent with being under the influence of narcotics.” Dopp held him down and another deputy put handcuffs on him. A fire rescue unit responded at Dopp’s request to evaluate Walsh, who had several lacerations to the head, the left arm and left foot. Rescue 21 transported him to AdventHealth Palm Coast, deputies closely following. Medical personnel cleared him, and deputies took him to the jail, where he was booked in for the 16th time since 2008.
Walsh was charged with carjacking, a first-degree felony, burglary, criminal mischief, grand theft auto, aggravated fleeing and eluding, a second degree felony, failing to stop at the scene of a crash, and resisting arrest. His probation on the domestic battery conviction was revoked. He is being held at the county jail on $121,500 bond.
“This is a situation that could have had a much more tragic outcome for either the suspect or the victim,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This guy has had so many chances to change his life but has zero respect he law. I am very thankful that no one was seriously injured during this carjacking. Walsh might have been arrested at the Red Roof Inn, but now he can spend some time at the Green Roof Inn where he belongs. I hope that the judge will keep him there for a long time before his next escapade winds up injuring or killing someone.”