MANATEE — Jeffrey Scott Palmer Jr. was arrested Thursday night after leading troopers on a high-speed chase spanning two counties, the Florida Highway Patrol reports.
Palmer, 32, is being held in Manatee County jail on a $10,500 bond and has been charged with motor theft, fleeing a law enforcement officer at high speeds and knowingly driving on a suspended licence.
The pursuit began in Polk County when a trooper noticed an SUV driven by Palmer heading southbound on State Road 37. In the report the trooper estimates his speed at about 80 mph.
The trooper gave pursuit with his patrol lights on, but instead of stopping, Palmer accelerated to flee.
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In the arrest report, Trooper D.P. Lewis said Palmer made eye contact with him during the pursuit and drove into the front of his patrol car. The force of the impact caused the SUV to become wedged between the front of the patrol car and several pine trees.
After the collision, Palmer and two passengers exited the SUV. Palmer admitted to smoking marijuana in the SUV prior to the accident, the report said.
It was also discovered that the SUV was stolen and a $100 counterfeit bill was found on Palmer.