August 10, 2017
By: Brian Hughes
Crestview, FL — A stolen vehicle chase that began in Walton County ended with the Crestview Police Department’s apprehension of two teenage suspects when they ditched the car in downtown Crestview and ran Tuesday evening.
Working in cooperation with the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Crestview Police prepared to arrest the suspects as they fled west on U.S. Highway 90, eluding WCSO deputies who tried to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle in Mossy Head. The car had been reported stolen in Westlake, Louisiana.
“We received a call of a suspicious vehicle on Trout Drive,” WCSO spokesperson Corey Dobridnia said. “The kids were trying to get to Panama City. There are similarly named streets in DeFuniak Springs. These kids were basically lost. We tried to initiate a traffic stop and they just took off.”
“Deputies stated the vehicle (driver) had a willful disregard for other motorists on the highway during the pursuit,” Crestview Police Officer Jay Seals wrote in the suspects’ arrest reports.
In case the suspects were to have entered Crestview at a high speed, for public safety Crestview Police shut down Ferdon Boulevard/State Road 85 traffic in both directions at the intersection of James Lee Boulevard/U.S. Hwy. 90, then blocked westbound Hwy. 90 traffic at the intersection.
“As the vehicle (driver) observed the intersection blocked, the driver…exited James Lee Boulevard East and entered into the parking lot of Wings of Fire,” Officer Seals reported.
The driver, identified as Abbey Chris Bailey, 18, of Youngsville, Louisiana, crashed the car into a wooden fence behind the restaurant and ran into a nearby water retention pond, where WCSO deputies apprehended him. He was remanded to the Okaloosa County Jail.
Mr. Bailey’s passenger, Jeremy Cade Pate, 17, of Lafayette, Louisiana, fled on foot to Brett Street North, where he was apprehended by Crestview Police Officer Colin Savoie. Mr. Pate was transported by Okaloosa County EMS to North Okaloosa Medical Center for treatment of shortness of breath sustained in the incident. He was remanded to the Department of Juvenile Justice for detention.
Both suspects were arrested and charged with felony grand theft of a motor vehicle and resisting or obstructing an officer without violence. In addition, Mr. Bailey was charged with leaving an accident scene with property damage and fleeing/eluding law enforcement at a high rate of speed.