Drama on I-95 as multi-state stalker escapes capture by running into woods

Sheriff Rick Staly reported to Historic City News that around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday evening, Flagler County sheriff’s deputies responded to RaceTrac at SR-100 east and Old Kings Road in Palm Coast after receiving a call about a verbal disturbance involving a man and his ex-girlfriend.

Deputies arrived on the scene and contacted the victim.  She stated that the man, identified as 24-year-old Justin Tyler Blake, fled the area on foot as Law Enforcement arrived.  FCSO K9 deputies tracked the subject with assistance from Volusia County deputies and their Air One helicopter, but they were unable to locate Blake.  Deputies are actively searching for Blake in the woods off Old Kings Road and Old Dixie Highway.

“He picked the wrong county,” Sheriff Staly said last night.  “We will not rest until we find him and lock him up where he belongs.”

According to the statement given to investigators by the victim, Blake has been following her for the past few months and “she is in fear for her life”.  The victim said that she moved from the out-of-state house they lived in together because Blake was “physically beating her and their children”.  She told deputies that Blake has continuously followed her from Texas and will not leave her alone. He reportedly made numerous threats to harm those who stand in the way of him getting to the victim.

The victim told deputies that around 6:00 p.m. she was leaving Advent Health in Palm Coast when she saw a U-Haul truck in the parking lot and Blake exiting the truck walking towards her. She told deputies that she went into McDonalds to hide and call for help; however, Blake saw her inside and continued following her to Race-Trac.

The victim contacted a friend who was coming to pick her up; but, as she got in the vehicle, Blake forcefully grabbed her by the arm and would not allow her to enter the vehicle. The victim stated that she told Justin to “let go and leave her alone”, multiple times; but, he wouldn’t listen. 

During the interview with detectives, the victim showed them that she had scrapes and a large red mark on her left forearm consistent with injuries she would have sustained through the attack described in her statements.

Deputies placed stop sticks behind the right tire of the U-Haul truck. There was a small dog in the front seat with the windows down. As deputies kept watch, Blake returned to the U-Haul.  Deputies gave loud commands for Blake to exit the vehicle. Blake placed the vehicle in reverse and backed over the stop sticks that immediately deflated the tire.

Deputy Carter stood at the front of the truck with his firearm drawn and ordered Blake out again. Blake put the vehicle in drive and drove straight towards Deputy Carter with no indication that he was stopping. The deputy was forced to run towards the passenger side of the vehicle so that he would not get hit by the truck.

Blake pulled onto SR-100 heading towards I-95 southbound. He drove on and off the roadway multiple times at speeds of 55-65 miles per hour. Blake drove the vehicle into the southbound I-95 median, with a right rear tire completely gone, around the 279-mile marker where he exited the moving vehicle and ran into the woods. 

“Not only has this suspect stalked his victim across multiple states, but he also endangered the lives of the other drivers on the road and one of my deputies,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.

The U-Haul truck was removed from the scene by John’s Towing. The dog inside the vehicle was turned over to Flagler County Animal Control. 

Blake’s charges include aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, stalking, operating a vehicle with no Florida license, resisting an officer without violence, domestic battery, and fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer with lights or sirens activated.