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Palm Coast Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 2 weeks ago

Felon charged with fleeing traffic stop, driving against traffic on Palm Coast Parkway

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Elisha Payne-Clark has previously been charged with burglary, grand theft, grand theft auto, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and various drug possession crimes.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A 22-year-old felon briefly dragged a deputy behind his car while fleeing a traffic stop Feb. 6, crashing into another vehicle and then swerving onto Palm Coast Parkway going the wrong direction, against traffic.

The incident began at the Shell station at 890 Palm Coast Parkway Southwest, where Flagler County Sheriff's Office Deputy Philip Conway was on foot patrol when he saw Elisha Payne-Clark, a 22-year-old he recognized from previous encounters, drive into the gas station parking lot in a black Kia, enter the smoke shop in the shopping plaza, then exit without buying anything, according to an FCSO arrest report.

"This guy clearly has no respect for anyone. Not for the public's safety, not for his girlfriend’s property, and especially not for the deputy that he could have seriously injured or killed with his reckless behavior. He is a career criminal who is back behind bars where he belongs. He needs to go to prison for a very long time.”

 

— RICK STALY, Flagler County sheriff

When Payne-Clark spotted the deputy, he went into the gas station, then immediately walked out and got into the Kia.

The deputy found this concerning, noting in the arrest report that the area is "known for high narcotic traffic."

The deputy walked over to the Kia, saw a baggy of marijuana sitting in the console cup holder, and ordered Payne-Clark to get out of the car. Instead, Payne-Clark reached for the gear selector, and the deputy grabbed his sweater through the open window.

Payne-Clark threw the car into reverse and hit the gas — dragging Conway, who was still holding on — and struck a truck that was driving through the parking lot, then put the car in gear and careened forward, still dragging Conway, who let go as the Kia veered toward a parked car.

"I was in fear for my life at this point, as Elisha had just crashed into another vehicle and now was headed straight for another vehicle," Conway wrote in the arrest report. "Elisha had no regard for my safety or the safety of anyone else around us."

The Kia screeched onto Palm Coast Parkway, westbound in the eastbound lanes, swerving around the oncoming traffic.

Conway got the Kia's tag number and called for assistance. Other deputies arrived, and the county's emergency services helicopter, Fire Flight, deployed.

Two concerned citizens called emergency services: One spotted the Kia driving recklessly on Bridgehaven Drive, and another called and said he'd just seen a man in his twenties go running into a porta-potty yelling into his phone that he'd been in a crash and needed to be picked up.

The second caller also spotted a Dodge Dart pick up Payne-Clark and head toward Belle Terre Parkway. Deputies found it later on Old Kings Road South, near a home associated with the Kia's registered owner — Payne-Clark's girlfriend.

They found the Kia — the baggy of pot still sitting in its cupholder — at a home on Briarvue Lane. 

Meanwhile, the Kia's owner, Payne-Clark's girlfriend, called in to report the car stolen. When pressed by deputies, she recanted, admitting that she allowed Payne-Clark to use the car, and that Payne-Clark had told her that he'd crashed it and that she should report it as stolen.

Deputies found Payne-Clark at the girlfriend's house and arrested him.  (View clips from the deputy's body camera footage of the incident and the arrest here. The video contains profanity.)

As they took him into custody, Payne-Clark said, "Just know I got money," and, "Bet I be out on bond," according to the arrest report.

He's charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a driver's license. 

He is being held on no bond, according to an FCSO news release. 

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