Jacksonville, FL — Traffic headed to Naval Station Mayport on Tuesday was slow due to separate issues at two gates. The Hanna Park gate is closed due to maintenance issues. The main gate was the scene of a wild crime spree during which a man in a stolen truck rammed a barricade at the base, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
The F-350 dump truck was reported stolen from Corey Enterprises Lawn and Landscape Inc. in Palm Coast shortly after 7:30 a.m., and the Sheriff’s Office says it had a GPS system that allowed them to track the driver as he went north.
Deputies say the driver took U.S. 1 before getting on I-95. They say he caused multiple crashes in St. Johns and Duval counties until the GPS showed it was stopped at the Navy base.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by people with the Navy and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office who told them they had to deploy a barricade to prevent the man from driving into the base.
Officers found a ski mask and a gun in the truck, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Rodney Simeon of Miami, but a motive is unknown. He was arrested on a warrant out of Flagler County for grant theft of a motor vehicle and burglary of an occupied structure, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
“This guy appeared to be on a mission and wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stand in his way,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “We still do not know his intent or what caused him to steal a heavy duty truck and try to force his way onto a Naval base.”
The crash caused delays for drivers in the Mayport area throughout the morning.