The edited video from the Florida Highway Patrol aircraft shows the black SUV speeding north through downtown Bunnell Monday afternoon, first in the correct lanes, then against southbound traffic, threading between vehicles on either lanes, before the SUV jumps the median again back to the northbound lanes, speeding at 90 to 100 mph. It had been avoiding stop sticks.
The man at the wheel was alleged to be Franklin Crawley, 37, of 34 Woodhollow Lane in Palm Coast. Crawley has a long arrest record, much of it for drug charges until an attempted burglary felony charge two years ago, pleaded down to a misdemeanor. Last year he was charged with two felonies, including grand theft auto. That was pleaded down to a failure to return a rental car, and adjudication was withheld–keeping Crawley for at least the third time from being branded a felon.
His latest charges may be more difficult to plead down from the felony charges he accumulated on Monday as he allegedly drove that car, which had been reported stolen by Crawley’s grandmother: Grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding, burglary, and two misdemeanors. With him in the car was Christian Grasso, 37, who has a longer arrest record and is a convicted felon, most recently on a second degree felony charge of selling a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was released in July. Grasso faces a burglary charge and resisting an officer.After speeding on U.S. 1, the pair ended up on County Road 13, then Sawgrass Road by the county fairgrounds and back onto 13, where Crawley weaved around deputies’ patrol vehicles several times before going back onto U.S. 1. Stop sticks damaged the tires at that point, and soon after that the vehicle, trying to negotiate a right turn onto Whiteview Parkway, ended up in the parkway’s median.
Both the FHP aircraft and Fire Flight, Flagler County’s emergency helicopter, were on the hunt at that point. The occupants bailed and ran a short distance, Crawley hiding in the garage of a house, Grasso climbing into a trailer that had been parked in front of the house. FHP and Fire Flight directed deputies to the house. The video shows them converging quickly on the property, hands on their weapons, before the video switches to the body cam of one of the deputies, who had his weapon drawn as he approached the garage.“Get out here,” the deputy yells at Crawley before ordering him to get on the ground. He’d been drinking a Coke he’d taken from a fridge in the garage. Grasso is ushered out of the trailer. Crawley complains of being manhandled as he is handcuffed and taken to a patrol car. The vehicle they’d been driving was recovered and towed to Saxon’s, the tow company in Bunnell, as it had been damaged. Grasso’s bond was set at $3,000, Crawley’s at $13,250.
“I am thankful that our deputies were able to quickly apprehend these two and that no one was injured by their reckless actions,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is a guy who has no regard for the safety of others. I hope he enjoyed that soda because we only serve water at the Green Roof Inn,” the sheriff’s preferred description of the county jail. “This is also a good reminder to always keep your garage doors closed even when you are home.”
The Geode says
At least he got a couple of cokes for his troubles…
Mary Fusco says
Hmm, shouldn’t these fine upstanding men be at work. Nothing like useless fools which PC seems to have an overabundance of. Sad.
Thank you again to all of our police officers. Your greatly respected and appreciated. 🙏
Law & Order says
Bonds in this county are crazy rediculous! Couple that with the incessant pleas to misdemeanors, and Flagler is THE place in Florida to do dirty deeds.
Police. Fine. Judicial. An “industry” joke.
I know that arrestees are entitled to bond. Hey! That’s the law. But why make it so easy? Am I missing something here? If the driver has priors, than isn’t $13k a little low? I guess I’m just naive here. My family (and all of yours) drive on these Flagler County roads; and it’s terrifying to think one or two of these jokers could conceivably make bond and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and do the
the same thing all over again! Do you think these guys really care if they hit your family head-on at 100 mph?! Obviously not. Someone needs to. I thought it was our judicial system. I thought wrong. I’m just thankful an innocent person didn’t cross paths this time around. It’s scary, and with a weak judicial system like ours, I urge my fellow citizens to stay vigilant, at home and on the roads.
We finally got a great Sheriffs Dept run by Rick Staley, can we now get BETTER JUDGES. All these criminals you read about being apprehended have long arrest history’s but yet they get turned right out with minor bonds. Lock them all up and throw away the keys. If you can’t live in society and follow the laws then off to jail you go. Simple
Thankful they got these guys. Also thankful
That the stop stick never got me. I was driving the red work vehicle in this video right by that black suv when they raised the stop stick. Pieces of the SUV went flying into the road. I was able to miss those parts as well thankfully. Glad no one was hurt.
CB from PC says
Prosecutors, cut the plea deals. Judges, set bonds up for repeat offenders. Give them some quiet jail time to think prior to trial.
With people like this in jail, we can at least drive without being caught in a scene from a 60s Dirty Harry movie. Of course, if it were a Dirty Harry movie, there would be no need for trial.
Just have to say it... says
Thank God no was injured!
My heart breaks when I see things like this. Drugs totally change a persons attitude and behavior. To see a whole generation destroyed by addiction is devastating. So many young men and women are lost!! There has to be something to help them! The current method of counseling and rehab isn’t cutting it! They’re all money makers!
Mary Fusco says
Parenting usually works wonders!! Children are not born addicts.
Something tells me these fine specimens had already enjoyed some Coke earlier in the day.
Palm Coast’s finest…
Good job says
Sounds like he was enjoying some coke earlier in the day as well. Great Job fireflight and Sheriffs, could have been a mess.
How is that “pleading down to a misdemeanor” from felonies working out for you? Maybe you should think more about putting repeat offenders and felons away and get them out of society permanently before some innocent people get hurt or killed. But I guess that hasn’t occurred to anyone, Eh!
nobody was hurt that was good
I truly appreciate the work our police officers do. If only the courts could keep these repeat felons off of the streets so that the cops don’t have to keep chasing them around.
Huge thanks to Sheriff Staly and our brave deputies of FCSO! You folks are the best of the best!
Why do the cops always lie and say “he swerved at the officers” when the video shows opposite? So they have an excuse to shoot them?
Couple of pieces OS. Bonds for both are insanely low; they pose a grave danger to society based on the video! Nevermind their lengthy records. Lock them up and throw away the key. And the smiling mugshot? Come on. That alone is worth a dime in the big house. Thankfully no innocent people were hurt. What a great police effort!
Willy Boy says
A justice system with a revolving door.
Great work FCSO!