ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A man believed to have hit several vehicles while leading police on a chase through St. Johns County in a stolen U-Haul truck Tuesday morning was arrested, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said 22-year-old Joshua Nelson faces multiple charges, including fleeing police, aggravated assault with a weapon, vehicle theft and resisting an officer.
The Sheriff’s Office said Nelson refused to stop for when a deputy tried to pull the moving truck over about 7:30 a.m. and he crashed into another vehicle on purpose along State Road 16.
Deputies at some point tossed out stop sticks, which began deflating the truck’s tires, but the truck didn’t stop. The chase led authorities down 4 Mile Road and South Whitney Street, where the driver bailed out.
A short time after Nelson ran, he was apprehended and taken into custody near State Road 207.
Several drivers saw the chase happening during their morning commute.
“He was flying down State Road 16 with flat tires -- actually no tires left, it was just rims," said Will Gresham said. “He was hauling it with a whole bunch of cops chasing him.”
Greshan said he was working when he saw the U-Haul truck pursued by several police cars. He later decided to follow the scrapes in the roadway between State Road 16 near I-95 to Whitney Street in West Augustine, where the chase ended.
“It’s a miracle he made it this far. I mean, if you follow the tracks, there are a lot of swerves in there. He didn’t have a whole lot of control,” Greshan said.
Deputies say the truck was reported stolen out of Duval County. When deputies searched the truck, it was empty.
Court records show Nelson has a criminal history. He was charged with grand theft auto, resisting an officer, and theft of a motor vehicle back in 2016. Those charges were out of Duval County.
Deputies believe Nelson might also be a parson-of-interest in crimes outside of St. Johns County.