FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Two teenage boys were arrested Tuesday night after driving away from a traffic stop in a stolen vehicle and striking a patrol car in the process, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they observed a pickup truck that matched the description of a car reported stolen in Nassau County shut off in the parking lot of a Palm Coast Winn Dixie at 9:55 p.m.
Jaylen Dowell, 15, and Paul Jackson Junior, 17, both from Jacksonville, appeared to be sleeping in the car when deputies approached it, records show. Deputies said they placed stop sticks in front of and behind the vehicle before opening the unlocked driver’s side door and making verbal contact with the occupants.
When deputies identified themselves, they said Jackson responded by closing the door, turning the car on and driving in reverse, ramming the vehicle into a marked Flagler patrol car with its lights activated.
The stop stick deployment was unsuccessful, and Jackson drove away from the parking lot, deputies said.
No deputies were injured in the collision, but they said they were given clearance to pursue the juveniles due to Jackson appearing to intentionally strike the patrol car with the pickup truck, garnering charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer.
Deputies said the pursuit reached speeds as high as 110 mph along westbound State Road 100, southbound Interstate 95, westbound Marco Polo Boulevard and northbound US Highway 1 before Bunnell police helped end the chase with stop sticks around 10:16 p.m.
Deputies conducting the ensuing felony traffic stop said Jackson claimed to have obtained the car for free from his neighbor in Jacksonville, who he said he talked the neighbor into “giving it” to him, records show.
According to the arrest report, 60 grams of a “green leafy substance” were recovered from the vehicle and submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing.
The two teens were arrested and taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, deputies said. Records show Dowell was charged for trespassing and possession of marijuana over 20 grams, while Jackson was charged for grand theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding with lights and sirens, having no valid driver’s license and hit and run resulting in property damage.
Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly thanked Bunnell police for their assistance in stopping the car, and called the whole situation another sad example of a failed juvenile justice system.
“More dirtbags from another county made the mistake of stopping in Flagler County,” Staly said in a statement. “These kids put multiple lives at risk, including my deputies, while trying to flee. These juveniles are on a fast-track to state prison.”