Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PUBLIC SAFETY 2 Men Arrested after High-Speed Chase

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PUBLIC SAFETY 2 Men Arrested after High-Speed Chase

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

Two men were arrested Sunday after leading Clay County sheriff's deputies and state troopers on a chase that reached speeds up to 120 mph on a crowded Blanding Boulevard before the men's car crashed near Middleburg High School.

The pursuit began at 3:38 p.m. when Deputy Renee Scucci said she clocked a red Ford Mustang heading north at 78 mph on Blanding Boulevard, just south of the intersection of Florida 16.

When the officer pursued the car with her lights flashing, the Mustang began going faster and tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone but was unable to because of oncoming traffic.

In a report, Scucci said she caught up with the Mustang at Blanding and Florida 16, where the driver pulled off the road and parked in a dirt lot. But when she approached the vehicle and reached for the driver's door, she said, the driver "hit the accelerator, spun the rear tires causing the car to spin in my direction."

She avoided being struck by the car, which skidded through the intersection against a red light and sped northbound. Scucci got back into her patrol car and called for backup while chasing the Mustang.

"The [driver] was now traveling at an estimated 120 mph . . . passing several northbound cars causing the southbound traffic to swerve and drive onto the shoulder to avoid a crash," Scucci said in her report.

Another deputy clocked the Mustang at 96 mph through Middleburg and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper joined in the chase near Scenic Drive just south of Black Creek Bridge. The car spun out of control while turning east onto County Road 220 and crashed into a wooded area near the high school.

The two men were apprehended when they ran from the vehicle. The driver was identified as Patrick Ryan Jinks, 24, of Lake Laguna Drive in Jacksonville. His passenger was identified as Steven Chesser (no age or address available).

No record was found on the Mustang's vehicle identification number or the license plate and the vehicle was impounded by the Florida Highway Patrol pending completion of an investigation.

Jinks was charged with aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude police, reckless driving, resisting arrest without violence and driving on a suspended license. …

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