The suspect, Daniel Ruddell, was involved in a wage dispute against the Sheriff's Office and had recently been arrested in Daytona Beach.
A former Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputy robbed a Circle K in Daytona Beach on Thanksgiving Day, then led deputies on a high-speed chase through three counties, at times exceeding 100 mph, according to deputies.
The incident started when the man, 45-year-old Palm Coast resident Daniel J. Ruddell, entered the Circle K at the intersection of LPGA and Clyde Morris Boulevard at 4:59 p.m. Nov. 26, according to a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office news release.
Ruddell had served with the Sheriff's Office in Flagler County for about six or seven years and left the Sheriff's Office about a year and a half ago, Sheriff's Office spokesman James Troiano said, and had filed suit against the Sheriff's Office over a wage matter in 2014. (The Sheriff's Office settled that suit in February of this year, according to FlaglerLive.com.)
Ruddell had also been arrested in Daytona Beach Nov. 18 on a marijuana possession charge and for resisting an officer, and Flagler deputies executed an ex-parte order to take him into custody for evaluation last Friday, Troiano said.
"There's been a steady escalation of inappropriate behavior," Troiano said.
At the Circle K on Thanksgiving, Ruddell threatened the clerk with a bottle of liquid, saying it was toxic, and demanded money, according to the news release.
He fled the Circle K in a black 2015 Chevy Silverado.
Daytona Beach Police Department officers and Volusia County Sheriff's Office deputies found the car at Nova Road and 10th Street and tried to stop it, but Ruddell got on Interstate 95, heading north.
Traffic was brought to a standstill in places as the chase unfolded.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Office took over the chase once Ruddell entered Flagler County, and set out stop sticks in two places, but Ruddell got around them.
As Ruddell entered St. Johns County, deputies set out stop sticks at the exit ramp at State Road 207, and Ruddell again avoided them.
But he rammed a Flagler County Sheriff's Office patrol car and "attempted to run over deputies," according to St. Johns County Sheriff's Office news release, and deputies fired at the car as it continued north.
They finally stopped Ruddell's car with a PIT maneuver — knocking the fleeing suspect's car sideways from the rear, causing it to spin — and Ruddell crashed near the County Road 214 overpass.
St. Johns deputies took Ruddell to Flagler Hospital for evaluation, then arrested him on a charge of aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude, with property damage.
St. Johns County Sherif's Office Spokesman Kevin Kershaw said that chase ended at about 5:50 p.m., while traffic backups continued as deputies processed evidence from the two crash scenes.
Additional charges against Ruddell are pending further investigation, according to the St. Johns County news release.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal investigation into its own involvement with the case after the St. Johns County criminal investigation is completed, Troiano said.