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Saturday, April 13, 2024

130-mph chase on I-75 in Marion County ends in arrest

A 20-year-old man is behind bars after allegedly leading deputies on a high-speed chase on Interstate 75 in Marion County that reached speeds of over 130 miles per hour.

On Monday, a white Dodge Challenger was observed traveling at a high rate of speed near the 13500 block of N U.S. Highway 441 in Ocala. A Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal noted in the arrest report that an agency-issued radar confirmed that the vehicle was traveling 96 mph in a posted 65 mph zone.

After emergency sirens and lights were activated, the corporal attempted to catch up to the Dodge Challenger. The driver of the Challenger, later identified as Kamari Jayvon Stokes, refused to stop, and a pursuit was initiated, according to the report.

Kamari Jayvon Stokes
Kamari Jayvon Stokes

While allegedly fleeing from the corporal, the report stated that Stokes ran a red light and stop sign before eventually merging onto I-75 southbound. He then proceeded to travel “at speeds over 130mph without (due) regard to the safety of others.”

When Stokes was near the exit for County Road 484, an MCSO lieutenant deployed spike strips on the roadway, which successfully struck the Dodge Challenger’s rear tire. The corporal then attempted to conduct a P.I.T. (Precision Immobilization Technique) maneuver on Stokes’ vehicle, according to the report.

The corporal noted that Stokes “slammed on (the) brakes,” which caused him to lose control of the Dodge Challenger. Moments later, Stokes crashed through a fence and continued into a field, where another deputy was able to successfully disable the vehicle with a P.I.T. maneuver.

The Dodge Challenger had two occupants: Stokes (driver) and an unidentified passenger. The passenger told deputies that they had been sleeping and “woke up to red and blue lights behind (them).” In the report, the corporal noted that the passenger had held their hands out of the passenger side window during the chase, signaling that they were “trying to give up.”

Stokes was detained in handcuffs, and an interior search of the Dodge Challenger was conducted. Inside the vehicle, deputies found a Ziploc bag containing a green leafy substance between the driver’s seat and center console. The substance field-tested positive for marijuana.

A search of Stokes’ driving history revealed that his driver’s license was suspended indefinitely in January of 2024.

After being medically cleared, Stokes was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond. He is being charged with fleeing to elude a law enforcement officer with disregard of safety to persons or property, possession of marijuana (not more than 20 grams), and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.