A high-speed chase through neighborhoods ended in a crash in front of the Sebastian River High School, the affidavit said.
“We believe South Florida burglars were coming to our area to commit crimes,” Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers told Sebastian Daily.
On Thursday at approximately 3:20 p.m., the sheriff’s office received a call about a possible auto burglary in progress at the Intergenerational Recreation Center in Vero Beach.
A witness advised that three black males wearing masks were driving a white BMW in the parking lot and entering vehicles. Surveillance footage confirmed what the witness saw, three males accessing or attempting to enter several vehicles.
At the same time, a white BMW matching the description was detected by FLOCK cameras in Sebastian, which are license plate readers.
Soon after, deputies located the vehicle in the Barber Street Sports Complex parking lot with one occupant. The driver then rammed a sheriff’s cruiser before driving on Tulip Drive.
“The driver showed complete disregard for the safety of motor vehicles while attempting to elude,” the deputy said.
The BMW was seen driving on a sidewalk, narrowly missing a pedestrian.
A sheriff’s helicopter arrived and followed the vehicle, which was driving 90 mph and weaving through traffic. Alternate attempts to stop the BMW were made but were unsuccessful.
The vehicle was then seen driving south on 90th Avenue (CR-510), attempting to make a U-turn in traffic in front of the Sebastian River High School, causing a collision with multiple vehicles.
“The driver of one of the other involved vehicles was unable to exit his vehicle and was grounded as a trauma alert to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne,” the deputy said.
Deputies identified the driver as Richard Harris, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale. After further investigation, deputies said the BMW was stolen from Sunrise, Florida.
“At the time of the crash, it was noted that Sebastian River High School was preparing for afternoon sporting events with a high volume of traffic and students,” the affidavit said. “The driver was taken into custody and showed no remorse for his behavior and was laughing numerous times while EMS was tending to other drivers.”
Harris, who had no valid driver’s license, was only concerned with his charges, and when advised he was under arrest for aggravated fleeing and eluding, he commented, “that’s all you got,” a deputy said.
Harris was charged with the following:
- Reckless Driver With Serious Bodily Injury
- Felony Reckless Driving
- No Valid Driver’s License
- Leaving a Scene of an Accident with Property Damage
- Felony Flee & Elude
- 2 counts of Auto Burglary
He was transported to the Indian River County Jail, where his bond was set at $535,000.