Deputies say Gainesville man fled traffic stop, led them on high-speed chase


Alachua County Sheriff's deputies say a man ignored a traffic stop and led them on a chase that exceeded 80 mph in a residential neighborhood before crashing into a light pole early Sunday.

Deputies arrested and charged 27-year-old Brandon Michael Griffith of Gainesville with fleeing law enforcement at a high speed, aggravated assault, resisting arrest and drug possession.

A report released Monday says a deputy attempted to pull over a 1996 Toyota Camry on Southeast 19th Street around 2:30 a.m. because the driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt. The report says the Camry kept going, slowly at first, but then it sped up and ran a couple of stop signs.

The deputy pulled up to the driver's side of the car to attempt a PIT maneuver but the report says the driver of the Camry swerved toward the patrol car in an apparent attempt to cause the deputy to wreck. The report says at one point the Camry looked as though it was going to stop when it again tried to hit the patrol car. The chase continued with the Camry running red lights at Hawthorne Road and University Avenue, the report says.

The chase finally came to an end when the Camry struck a light pole at NE 8th Avenue and NE 15th Street. The report says Griffith ran from the vehicle but was caught not far from the crash.

Deputies say they found three small, clear plastic baggies inside the car containing a light, brown, powdery substance that appeared to be MDMA. A license check showed Griffith had been suspended 13 times.

He's being held at the Alachua County Jail on $130,000 bond.

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