17-year-old charged with two felony counts after fleeing from deputies conducting speeding enforcement near public beach on Siesta Key

Teen crashes vehicle in Gulf Gate

Kai O. Dixon. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

A 17-year-old Bradenton resident in an allegedly stolen truck fled from deputies who tried to stop him on Siesta Key on May 12 and then sped through the Siesta Public Beach parking lot — which was filled with pedestrians — before heading toward the mainland and finally crashing the vehicle in Gulf Gate, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has announced.

Kai O. Dixon of 5316 E 31st Circle, Bradenton, was charged with two felony counts: Aggravated Fleeing from Police, Resulting in Injury or Damage, and Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office report says. Total bond of $9,000 was set in the case, the report notes; $7,500 of that was related to the Aggravated Fleeing count

The incident began just before 3 p.m. on May 12, the report continues, as deputies were using radar to conduct speed enforcement in the area of the 5000 block of Midnight Pass Road.

Deputies first attempted to stop Dixon in a white pickup truck that was traveling 56 mph in a posted 40 mph zone at the intersection of Beach Road and Midnight Pass Road, the report says. Dixon failed to stop and then proceeded through the parking lot at Siesta Public Beach “at a high rate of speed,” before exiting the main entrance to the lot, the report adds. “It should be noted that the parking lot was full and there were numerous pedestrians in the lot,” the report points out.

Deputies called off a pursuit of the truck “in the interest of public safety as the vehicle drove through the crowded parking lot,” the report continues.

Then deputies learned through a license plate check that the truck had been reported stolen from a location in the city of Sarasota, the report notes.

As the vehicle headed south on Midnight Pass Road, the Sheriff’s Office’s Air-2 helicopter, which was already in the air, located the truck and followed it as the truck traveled south on Midnight Pass Road and then made a U-turn to head back toward Stickney Point Road, the report continues. The truck proceeded over the drawbridge and then south on Tamiami Trail, the report says.

A still from a Sheriff’s Office video taken by Air-2 shows the white pickup truck just before it crashes into a palm. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, via Air-2

At Gulf Gate Drive, the truck turned east “and continued traveling east” until it crashed into a tree in the area of Gulf Gate Drive and Glades Way, the report adds. “During the time the vehicle was being monitored by Air-2 it was [traveling] in a reckless manner,” the report notes.

After the crash, the report says, “All of the occupants of the vehicle exited [it] and ran south” from the scene. Moments later, deputies arrested the person they believed to be the driver; he and another person were in front of a residence in the 2700 block of Safe Harbor Drive, the report adds.

Occupants of the vehicle are seen running through a Gulf Gate yard, with one climbing over a fence. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, via Air-2

Later, the other two occupants of the truck were found in the area, as well, the report points out.

After deputies contacted Kai’s father, the report says, the father advised them that his son would not make a statement.

“The defendant was bleeding from the forehead and his injuries were consistent with the damage observed to the driver’s side windshield of the vehicle,” the report notes.

Kai’s booking occurred just before 9 p.m., the report says. He was not confined in the Sarasota County Jail. Instead, a news release notes, he was released on May 12 to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

An aerial map shows Gulf Gate Drive and Glades Way. Image from Google Maps

Video of the incident may be viewed on the Sheriff’s Office YouTube channel by visiting the Sheriff’s Office’s YouTube page.

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