PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - A 51-year-old was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, robbery, battery and fleeing a law enforcement officer as the result of a crime spree that included a high-speed chase, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.
Darrell Wayne Bailey is being held without bond, according to Putnam County jail records.
In addition to the charges filed in Putnam County, deputies discovered that Bailey was wanted on an active Taylor County warrant for violation of probation regarding a previous sexual battery. Bailey is a Florida registered sex offender resulting from a 1988 kidnapping and sexual battery in Taylor County.
"Darrell Bailey is a person we have been familiar with for some time because he is a registered sex offender that had transferred his supervision here to Putnam County from Taylor County," said PCSO Capt. Joseph Wells. "You know, I don't know what triggered this individual."
According to the Sheriff's Office, Bailey arrived about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday at the west Putnam County home of a female acquaintance and asked to use the telephone.
Inside the home, deputies said, Bailey pulled out a knife and held it to her throat before sexually assaulting her.
Still armed with a knife, Bailey then demanded the victim to drive a store, where she was able to escape and call 911, deputies said.
Wanted bulletins were issued as deputies and K-9 units immediately began a manhunt for Bailey, deputies said.
While the hunt for Bailey was still active, a carjacking was reported just before 5 p.m. in the area of southeast 5th Street in Interlachen.
An 18-year-old woman told deputies that she was approached by a man as she pulled into her driveway on North State Road 21. She attempted to roll her window up, but the man grabbed her and placed a knife to her neck, deputies said.
The man then got into the car, forcing the victim to drive as he directed her when to go, deputies said.
The victim eventually jumped from the moving vehicle, ran into the wooded area and made her way to the southeast 5th Street home where she was assisted by the homeowner and called 911.
Within a few minutes, Deputy Nicholas Vieira said he spotted Bailey still driving the victim’s vehicle west on State Road 20. As Vieira turned around on the vehicle, Bailey accelerated and a vehicle pursuit ensued at speeds of nearly 100 miles per hour. Bailey suddenly stopped the vehicle on State Road 20 near the intersection of Chesser Monroe Road.
“It’s somewhat unusual for someone to just suddenly stop, but people have just so many different reactions. Sometimes, they’ll run until the tires are flat and out of space, until they run out of gas, until they run into a ditch and get out and run. And, now and then, people are just decide, ‘OK, I’m caught. I’m not going to fight this anymore,'" said Gil Smith, News4Jax crime and safety analyst.
Well said it took the work of 40 people and K-9 units to catch Bailey. Though Vieira is credited with spotting Bailey, Wells said, the real heroes Wednesday were the victims.
“They both remain strong. They found an opportunity to get away from their abductor and both did so. So, they’re heroes in my book. But, they do have a long healing process and we’re going to be by their side all the way through this process including the trial, to get them the services they need," Well said,
The case remains an active investigation as detectives work with the State Attorney’s Office to prepare the case for trial. Victim’s Services specialists are assisting the victims and the Sheriff’s Office is working to protect their identity.
According to Wells, the arraignment for Bailey is expected to happen in about 10 days.
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