Man who crashed after chase claims car was stolen, deputies say

Suspect faces multiple charges

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – A man who crashed his car moments after a pursuit tried to claim his car was stolen and someone else was behind the wheel, according to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they noticed a gray 2017 Nissan Altima drive through a stop sign without stopping on Fay Boulevard around 1 a.m. Sunday, but when a traffic stop was conducted, the driver sped off and started driving erratically.

A deputy at first followed the car but then terminated the pursuit because the driver was too erratic, according to the affidavit.

After the pursuit ended, deputies said the driver, later identified as Caleb Gibson, lost control of the vehicle and crashed at the intersection of Adele Street and Homestead Avenue. 

The Nissan sped off with its airbags deployed, records show.

Deputies said they went to the home where the vehicle was registered and Gibson's grandmother said Gibson drives the vehicle but no longer lives at the home.

A short time later, the grandmother called the deputy and said Gibson wanted to report the car as stolen.

Gibson said he last saw his car Saturday night but that it was gone Sunday morning, according to the affidavit.

The deputy was able to identify Gibson as the driver who fled the traffic stop and noticed marks on his wrist that were consistent with injuries that would be caused by an airbag deploying, authorities said.

The affidavit said Gibson insisted he wasn't driving the car and that the car was stolen, even after he was warned that it's illegal to file a false report.

The man who was in the passenger's seat at the time of the chase said he told Gibson to stop, but Gibson wouldn't listen, according to the report.

As Gibson was being arrested, deputies said they found a clear baggie with a white substance inside that tested positive for methamphetamine in his wallet.

Gibson faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, false report of a crime, fleeing and eluding, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and reckless driving.