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High-speed chase leads to arrest of Clay County man accused of sex crime

Bodycam video shows arrest of suspect

Body camera video from a Camden County K-9 deputy shows the moment a Clay County man wanted for a child sex crime was taken into custody. Detectives say he cut off cut off his GPS monitor and started a Gofundme to help him escape.
Body camera video from a Camden County K-9 deputy shows the moment a Clay County man wanted for a child sex crime was taken into custody. Detectives say he cut off cut off his GPS monitor and started a Gofundme to help him escape.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 39-year-old man wanted on a list of charges in Clay County is in custody following a high-speed chase that stretched from Florida into Georgia.

Keith Smith was being tracked by the U.S. Marshals Service when he was spotted Thursday on Jacksonville’s Northside riding in a car driven by his girlfriend, according to police.

The vehicle was pulled over on New Kings Road, where Smith’s girlfriend bailed out, but then he slid behind the wheel and sped away through multiple stop signs and red lights.

Police tried unsuccessfully to halt the vehicle using a PIT maneuver on Lem Turner Road and then Smith hopped onto Interstate 95 North. A second attempt to stop him also failed.

Authorities said a Nassau County deputy tried to lay down stop sticks, but Smith swerved the vehicle towards him and then avoided a third PIT maneuver near the Florida-Georgia state line.

It wasn’t until the fourth PIT maneuver attempt — this time on I-95 in Georgia — that the chase came to a stop. Authorities said Smith’s car spun into the median and he tried to run away.

(UNCUT BODYCAM: High-speed chase leads to arrest of Clay County man accused of sex crime)

A Camden County K9 in pursuit of Smith quickly brought him down and he was taken to the hospital for treatment.

A man, who asked not to be identified, told News4Jax his car was sideswiped during the chase.

“It happened so fast that my immediate reaction was he was speeding away from me really fast, and he was going to try and get away,” the man said. ”There were five police cars on him and there were several that were trailing.”

Duval County jail records show Smith is charged with fleeing and attempting to elude police, a felony offense and leaving the scene of a crash, a misdemeanor.

Jail logs show he’s wanted in Clay County on warrants charging him with lewd molestation, child custody interference and tampering with a GPS monitor.


About the Author:

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.