A 22-year-old man is facing multiple charges after leading Clay County deputies on a forklift chase, ending in Duval County.
According to a Clay County Sheriff's Office arrest report, Nicolas Aron Powell was arrested early Sunday morning after he stole a Sunbelt Rentals forklift and refused to stop when Clay deputies tried to perform a traffic stop.
Deputies said they received a call at 12:45 a.m. in reference to someone driving a forklift "erratically" northbound on Blanding Boulevard. The caller stated the driver did not appear to be a construction worker, according to the report.
"This is absolutely nuts."— Russell Colburn (@RussellANjax) July 24, 2018
NEW VIDEO shows the local man accused of stealing a forklift on a low-speed chase with deputies. They say the chase would cross into Duval from Clay County. STORY: https://t.co/XQFUEpPlrP @ActionNewsJax @WOKVNews pic.twitter.com/m91a4IIaSG
Powell was spotted by authorities five minutes later, swerving in multiple lanes, and tried to pull him over, the report said.
The report said Powell did not stop despite the deputy having his patrol lights and sirens on. He kept driving, ignoring many stoplights.
Justin Jean said he witnessed the chase and recorded some of it on his cell phone.
“It was definitely a sight that you don’t see every day at 12:30-1 in o’clock the morning,” Jean said. “It was entertaining, but in the same sense it was scary, because he could’ve definitely done a lot of damage with that heavy equipment.”
The pursuit continued into Duval County when Powell made a left turn on 103rd Street.
Powell drove into a grass lot of a RaceTrac gas station on 103rd Street, where he was arrested.
He refused to participate in standardized field sobriety exercises, the report stated.
Powell told deputies he was an employee at Wilkinson Junior High, but the Clay County School District said it has no record of him ever working for the district.
After investigating, it was discovered that Powell was knowingly driving with a license that had been suspended since March of 2015, the report stated.
Deputies also discovered an active warrant out of Nassau County for "failure to appear on an original charge of driving with no valid driver's license."
Powell faces charges for grand theft, fleeing and eluding police, DUI with refusal and refusal to submit a BAL test.
He also received a citation for running a stop light at Blanding Boulevard and Wells Road, according to the report.