14-year-old leads police on high speed chase; cop crashes vehicle during pursuit

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A 14-year-old was arrested after police said he led several law enforcement officers on a high speed chase on a busy highway last weekend. A policeman suffered minor injuries during the pursuit after his vehicle crashed into a tree, authorities said.

The teen told officials he was “afraid to stop the vehicle because he had never been in trouble before,” an arrest report shows. The teen driver reached speeds of 100 mph or more, police reported.

Sebastian police charged the Brevard County teenager with grand theft auto and fleeing and eluding. Details on if the teen is being held at the county jail or was taken to a juvenile detention center were not available.

The multi-law enforcement chase took place after officers responded to a report of a grand theft auto about 5 p.m. March 24 near 8600 Jungle Trail. A homeowner told police he walked out of the residence and noticed his white Chevrolet van was missing. He also saw a golf cart in front of the home, which police said was also stolen.

An Indian River County deputy saw the stolen van and tried to conduct a traffic stop near County Road 512 and U.S. 1. The teen driver did not stop. Then, multiple units from the Sebastian Police Department joined the chase, an arrest report shows.

A Sebastian officer totaled his patrol car in a crash during the pursuit, police said. The officer was taken to the hospital and released a short time later.

The teen sped westbound on C.R. 512 headed toward Interstate 95. He drove into Fellsmere, went off the roadway near the 6900 block of C.R. 512 and crashed the van. Fellsmere police joined the search for the suspect.

A sheriff’s helicopter captured the teen fleeing on foot, police said. Several hours later, a patrolling officer saw the teen near the Outlets Mall. The teen saw officers pulling up to the area and then ran into the woods near Interstate 95.

Officers ran after the teen and handcuffed him, police said. They found a large knife on the ground near his feet. Police took the teen to the Indian River Medical Center for treatment to his injures.

The teen told officers he was “afraid and upset with his parents,” so he drove into the county on State Road A1A, an arrest report shows. He crashed the vehicle and stole a nearby golf cart to look for another vehicle to take.

The teen admitted to going inside a home, taking keys off the counter and stealing a van, police said. Police arrested the teen.



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