Traffic stop turns into high-speed chase for two fugitives

Historic City News received word that two men who claimed to be on their way to St Augustine, fled the scene of an early morning traffic stop at SR-100 and the I‐95 north on‐ramp and leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit along Interstate-95. US Customs and Border Protection has determined that the men were unlawfully residing within the United States.

At around 1:40 a.m. a grey Nissan was observed by deputy Kyle Gaddie as it made a left turn into oncoming traffic in Palm Coast.  The driver, 30-year-old Dwayne Michael Carty, told officers that he and his passenger, 21-year-old Shareef Brendon Mpuang, live at 717 6th Avenue in St Augustine.  He stated that he is not familiar with the area and did not know he was turning the wrong way.

“While deputies were searching the vehicle, these guys put the lives of our deputies in danger when they decided to flee,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We are thankful that no one was injured. This highlights the dangers deputies face daily and how a routine traffic stop can change quickly.”

The vehicle was registered to a woman with no relation to the occupants.  Carty voluntarily allowed officers to search the vehicle; however, while deputies were examining the contents of the trunk, they found a plastic shopping bag tied closed. A vacuum-sealed bag containing a large amount of presumed marijuana was discovered.

Carty put the vehicle in gear, then drove away at a high rate of speed.  He traveled north on I-95, driving recklessly.   Carty exited the Interstate at Palm Coast Parkway where he crossed stop sticks; causing a controlled deflation of the vehicle’s tires.  Carty continued to flee until crashing into a cable box causing approximately $1,000 in damage.

He fled on foot through the woods and was observed by two postal employees who told deputies that the man was hiding under a nearby building. Carty was located underneath the building near the rear of the US Post Office on Pine Cone Drive; he was secured in handcuffs.

Mpuang remained in the vehicle at the time of the crash and was taken into custody.  During the investigation it was revealed that Mpuang had altered his US Visa illegally after it expired.  Mpuang was placed under arrest for unauthorized possession of an identification card.

The marijuana discovered during the traffic stop weighed approximately 323 grams. Carty was charged with possession of marijuana, fleeing law enforcement, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, tampering with evidence, and resisting an officer without violence.