FHP pursuit ends in crash into Westside town home, arrest

Troopers say driver took off during traffic stop on 103rd Street

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A pursuit that began Wednesday afternoon when a driver took off during a traffic stop ended in a crash into a Westside town home and an arrest, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

According to the Highway Patrol, a trooper pulled a driver over for a seatbelt violation on 103rd Street just before 1 p.m., but as the trooper approached the white Chevrolet sedan, the driver, later identified as 35-year-old Cedric Chambers, took off east. 

According to the incident report, Chambers drove off because he had a warrant out for his arrest on a cocaine possession charge. He's now facing seven charges from the pursuit, including assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting police and reckless driving.

The Highway Patrol said it blocked off an intersection ahead of Chambers, and he pulled a U-turn, heading back west on 103rd Street.

Chambers then hit a curb, lost control, and the car went through the outer wall of the Brighton Park town house complex and came to a stop when it hit the wall of one of the units, troopers said. The crash caused $80,000 in damage to the town home.

No injuries were reported. The owner of the town house was not home at the time of the crash, and her mother, Maria Davis, said she's also thankful that her grandchildren were at school when it happened. 

"When I first got up here and I saw that, I was, like, 'What is that from?' I thought maybe if it was brick it would have stopped some of the impact on the house. Then when I went in, I was, like, 'Wow,'" Davis told News4Jax. "Just to see a car into a house -- you don't know the devastation until you get inside."

The damage appeared to be significant. There was flooding from a water tank and pipes that were destroyed. The staircase and the walls near it were also damaged.

"When you see it all cracked up from top to bottom, stairs gone, water everywhere, you have to pick up this and that," Davis said. "It's just crazy."

IMAGES: Damage to Westside town house

Davis said she can only think about what could have happened to her grandchildren had they been home when it happened.

"If they had been on those steps like they normally are, or if I had been walking down those steps. We were just out here playing yesterday," she said. "Everything just kept running through my mind like what we had just done out here at this house and now what it looks like.”

Davis's daughter was upset and did not want to go on camera, but she said the car that crashed into her home belonged to a neighbor up the street, and she was told her neighbor's boyfriend was the driver. 

The neighbor told News4Jax that she did not want to talk about why her boyfriend was trying to get away from troopers. 

The homeowner, who purchased the town house two years ago, said she and her children will now have to live somewhere else. 

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