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Driver leads police on low speed chase while eating a bag of cocaine, later hospitalized

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Mark Price
The Charlotte Observer

An odd 15-mph police chase in North Florida ended when the driver had to be hospitalized after eating a bag of cocaine, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s office.

It happened just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, when a deputy attempted to stop a silver Infiniti on U.S. 1 near Bunnell, 67 miles south of Jacksonville.

“Upon activating emergency lights and siren, the vehicle failed to immediately pull over and continued driving (for a half mile) at approximately 15 mph before coming to a stop,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

“As the deputy approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and made contact with the operator … the deputy observed a torn open baggie on (his) lap with several small white flakes consistent with cocaine scattered across his shorts and on his face and beard.”

Body cam video shows the driver repeatedly refused to get out of the vehicle and demanded to know what he had done to be stopped.

He was eventually pulled from the vehicle and put in handcuffs under threat of being shocked with a taser.

“As (he) was removed from the vehicle, the torn open baggie dropped to the ground,” officials said.

“While in custody, (he) spit out a white substance several times which later tested presumptive positive for cocaine.”

An ambulance took the suspect to a hospital in Palm Coast to be treated for ”ingesting a large amount of narcotics,” officials said. Details of his condition were not released.

The man has been charged “with resisting arrest without violence, possession of cocaine, and tampering with evidence,” officials said.

“This (man) could have died while attempting to conceal his narcotics by swallowing them,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said in the news release. “If you get caught with illegal narcotics don’t make things worse by swallowing them. He is lucky to be alive.”

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