Deputies: Man with ice cream at school sparks chase in stolen SUV
Pursuit reached speeds over 80 mph before SUV hit gas pipeline, struck cruisers
NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A man with "ice cream for a child" was arrested Wednesday after he led deputies on a high-speed chase that started at an elementary school and ended with him striking a natural gas pipeline and hitting two patrol vehicles, according to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.
Katrail Crumley, 34, is charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, resisting arrest without violence and operating a motor vehicle without a proper driver's license.
Investigators said the 15-minute pursuit, which was captured on dashcam video, stemmed from a complaint about a suspicious person at Hilliard Elementary School. The person who complained reported that a man, who was later identified as Crumley, had said he had "ice cream for a child," began eating the ice cream and then asked for directions, according to an arrest report.
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told News4Jax that she found out about the incident on social media.
“It's really scary. What was he planning on doing, like, with the ice cream? Was he looking for a kid?" the parent said.
A deputy responded just before 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and said he spotted Crumley in the driver's seat of a Toyota 4Runner, which began to leave the parent pickup line in front of the school on Ohio Street as the deputy arrived on school grounds and then backed into a parking spot.
The deputy said he asked Crumley if he had been eating ice cream and asking people for directions and Crumley replied, "Yes." The report noted the Florida tag on the 4Runner was not assigned to the SUV, which later came back as being stolen out of Tennessee, and Crumley said he didn't have his driver's license. The deputy told Crumley he wasn't free to leave yet and went back to his patrol vehicle. That's when, according to the arrest report, Crumley sped off in the SUV and gave him the middle finger.
WATCH: Raw dashcam video of Nassau County high-speed chase
(Warning: This video contains profanity)
"He's going 90 mph," a deputy can be heard saying in the dashcam video.
The report stated the deputy activated the lights and siren of his marked patrol vehicle, followed Crumley down West Sixth Street and saw Crumley run the stop sign at the Oxford Street intersection and the stop sign at the U.S. 1 intersection, where he nearly struck a vehicle.
Crumley then headed south on U.S. 1 and went through a red light at the County Road 108 intersection, the report stated. The deputy also noted in the report that, multiple times, he saw Crumley try to run vehicles off the road and pass vehicles on both shoulders of the road.
Another deputy then deployed stop sticks at the U.S. 1 and Landfill Road intersection, but the report stated Crumley drove over them and turned onto Musslewhite Road, reaching speeds higher than 80 mph as the tires began to fall off the rims.
The Sheriff's Office said Crumley continued to drive on the rims at a high speed, headed south on Griffin Road and ran the stop sign at the State Road 200 intersection. When he turned east onto S.R. 200, according to the report, he passed vehicles in the median, nearly hitting some of them.
That's when, the report stated, Crumley tried to pass a semitruck in the median, lost control of the vehicle, crossed both lanes and struck a natural gas pipeline that was on top of the ground, causing about $10,000 worth of damage.
A third deputy pulled alongside the SUV in his marked patrol vehicle with lights and siren activated and Crumley struck that vehicle, causing the SUV the spin across both lanes of traffic, the Sheriff's Office said. Crumley then accelerated straight at the first deputy's patrol vehicle and hit it, the report shows.
"Get out of the car," a deputy can be heard yelling in the dashcam video.
Crumley was finally stopped, yet he resisted when deputies tried to place his hands behind his back, according to the report.
The report noted that 3.3 grams of methamphetamine, two glass pipes containing meth residue, a digital scale with meth residue and multiple plastic baggies were discovered during a search of the SUV.
Crumley was booked just after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday into the Nassau County jail, where he remained as of Friday afternoon, online jail records show.
Fortunately, no one was hurt during the chase. But the concerned parent said she wishes the district would have notified parents.
“There were security measures in place for that, but that’s really frightening that happened in a little small town like this," she said.
When News4Jax asked the Nassau County School District why it didn't notify parents about the man being at the school, a spokesperson said they didn't feel children were at risk and the situation was handled quickly.
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