Both suspects had arrest histories in Flagler County.
By: Shannon Martin
Public Affairs Officer, Flagler County Sheriff's Office
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of US 1 in reference to a stolen vehicle at 1:10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18. The victim had reported that her grandson, Franklin Crawley, 37, stole her gray 2015 Buick Enclave.
A Volusia County Sheriff’s Office deputy was following the vehicle without lights or sirens and was relaying the direction of travel to FCSO deputies. A Florida Highway Patrol airplane, which was flying by at the time, assisted from the air continuously updating deputies of their location.
FCSO located the vehicle traveling north on US 1, where he accelerated and began driving recklessly in downtown Bunnell. The stolen vehicle continued north on US 1 and then west on County Road 13 and later Sawgrass Road where deputies attempted to deploy stop sticks, which Crawley avoided.
While on Sawgrass Road near Country Road 13, deputies positioned a patrol vehicle with emergency lights activated in the roadway in an attempt to block Crawley. However, Crawley passed the patrol vehicle on the grass shoulder, losing control and nearly colliding with other FCSO deputies on scene.
Crawley then drove the stolen vehicle back to US 1 Northbound and Flagler County’s FireFlight helicopter joined and assisted FHP’s airplane with updating deputies. Deputies were able to get a positive Stop Stick deployment on the stolen vehicle in the area of US Highway 1 and Otis Stone Hunter Road, disabling the stolen vehicle’s tires. Crawley then lost control of the vehicle, crashing into the median on US Highway 1 and Whiteview Parkway. It was at this time that Crawley and his passenger,
Christian Grasso, 37, exited the disabled vehicle and began to flee on foot.
FHP and FireFlight were able to track Crawley and Grasso as they attempted to flee from the scene and into a residence on Wood Ash Lane. FCSO deputies quickly surrounded the residence and located Grasso attempting to hide in a construction trailer located on the property and Crawley in the garage drinking a Coca-Cola. The homeowner did not know Crawley or Grasso and wished to press charges.
“I am thankful that our deputies were able to quickly apprehend these two and that no one was injured by their reckless actions,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is a guy who has no regard for the safety of others. I hope he enjoyed that soda because we only serve water at the Green Roof Inn. This is also a good reminder to always keep your garage doors closed even when you are home.”
Crawley and Grasso were arrested and taken to the Flagler County Jail. Crawley is charged with Grand theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, burglary, petit theft and resisting an officer without violence. He is being held on a $13,250 bond. Grasso is charged with
resisting an officer without violence and burglary. He is being held on a $3,000 bond.