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Palm Coast Sunday, Jun. 9, 2019 6 months ago

Four young men charged with fleeing deputies in a stolen vehicle

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The four suspects — three men and a 16-year-old boy — are all residents of Daytona Beach.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

​Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputies found a stolen car and arrested its four occupants after a chase in Palm Coast the evening of Friday, June 7. 

Deputies had been notified that a gray 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe had been stolen in Holly Hill, and dispatch broadcast a be-on-the-lookout notification at 5:23 p.m.

A deputy, Austin Chewning, checked local gas stations and saw the car leave the Shell station at 2 Boulder Rock Drive and turn onto Palm Coast Parkway Northwest, according to a charging affidavit. There were four people inside.

Chewning alerted other deputies, and one tried to use stop sticks, a tire deflation device, to stop the car after it turned onto Corporate Drive. That didn't work: The car sped off, driving recklessly, and ran the stop light at Palm Coast Parkway Southwest and Corporate Drive.

"It’s to be noted that the vehicular traffic was saturated and the driver’s actions could have caused a serious accident," Chewning noted in the charging affidavit.

The fleeing car drove onto the shoulder to turn onto Belle Terre Parkway, heading north, with deputies in pursuit and lights and sirens activated.

Then it turned east onto Palm Coast Parkway Northwest — driving into oncoming westbound traffic and directly towards a deputy's vehicle.

The Santa Fe veered off the road and into the bushes, then onto Leanni Way and back onto Belle Terre Parkway, heading north, where several deputies tried to stop it. It wouldn't pull over.

An FCSO commander ordered deputies to halt the pursuit.

Chewning, working from an unmarked patrol car, kept an eye on the Santa Fe, which turned down Barrington Drive.

FCSO deputies started canvassing the area. A resident on Barrington told Chewning he'd seen the Santa Fe turn onto Baron Way, and a Banner Lane resident called dispatch and said she'd seen three males run through her yard and jump over her fence.

Chewning found the stolen car — empty but with the engine still running — in a driveway on Banner Lane.

The county's emergency helicopter, FireFlight, responded, and deputies deployed a K-9, named Baro, and began tracking the suspects.

At about 6:04 p.m., deputy found four people, all male, in the woodline near 56 Bannbury Lane, and detained them. Two of the suspects, Jemari Overstreet and Heron Burson, were 18 years old; one, Steven Johnson, was 20; and the fourth was 16. (The 16-year-old's name is not included here because he is a juvenile.) Heron at one point gave a deputy a false name.

Chewning interviewed Overstreet, and believed, based on his hairstyle, that he was the one driving the car during the chase. Overstreet said he was in town visiting his aunt, but then invoked his right to an attorney. 

Surveillance footage from the Shell station showed Overstreet buy gas for the stolen vehicle.

Overstreet is charged with four felonies: grand theft of a motor vehicle, burglary from a conveyance, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, and burglary of an occupied dwelling (for jumping the fence and entering the yard of the home on Banner Lane). He's also charged with two misdemeanors: driving without a license, and resisting an officer without violence.  

Johnson is charged with two felonies — burglary from a conveyance  and burglary of an occupied dwelling — and two misdemeanors: resisting an officer without violence, and loitering/prowling. The 16-year-old faces the same charges as Johnson. Burson faces the same charges as Johnson and the 16-year-old, plus a misdemeanor charge of giving a false name to law enforcement. 

All four are residents of Daytona Beach.

“I was out with our deputies during this incident and it was clearly evident that the driver of the stolen vehicle had complete disregard for the safety of other motorists on the roadway,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in an FCSO news release. “They could have caused a very serious crash by their actions. I am proud of our deputies for safely apprehending these suspects and taking them in to custody without anyone getting hurt. This is another great example of our teamwork, technology and strategies working to quickly apprehend criminals with support from the community.” 

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