Thursday, June 5, 2008

Stolen Pickup Pursuit Ends In 2 Arrests

A vehicle pursuit in East Naples on Wednesday night ended in the arrests of the teenage driver and his adult passenger who deputies say stole the car from a rest area earlier in the day.

Wesley Wells, 16, of Old Town, Fla., was charged with grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, no valid driver’s license, possession of marijuana and possession of narcotic equipment. Matthew Ryerson, 24, 618 11th St. S.W., Golden Gate, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of narcotic equipment.

Arrest reports gave this account:

Wells was driving a white Isuzu pickup on the wrong side of the road at the intersection of Bayshore Drive and Thomasson Lane around 9:55 p.m. The pickup pulled into a convenience store parking lot and squealed its tires, nearly striking a pedestrian as it continued east on Thomasson.

A deputy in a patrol car activated his emergency lights and sirens in an attempt pull over the pickup as it entered East Naples Community Park, but Wells failed to stop and sped out of the park.

Deputies engaged in a pursuit with the pickup through a shopping plaza and then onto U.S. 41 East, with speeds reaching 80 mph. Deputies deployed a spike strip, deflating both passenger-side tires on the pickup, which then came to a stop at the intersection of U.S. 41 East and Collier Boulevard.

Further investigation revealed that the pickup had been reported stolen out of Sumter County earlier in the day and that Wells, who didn’t have a driver’s license, had been smoking marijuana, reports said.

Deputies found marijuana on Ryerson, who had an active local warrant, reports said.