Duane Simpers was arrested Aug. 7 after being caught with 25 grams of narcotics and fleeing deputies.
“Another fugitive tries to come with his illegal drugs to Flagler County and is unsuccessful,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “This guy was wanted in Putnam County for Grand Theft Auto, thinks he can hide here and then puts multiple lives in jeopardy trying to flee from our deputies. I’m thankful that our deputies arrested him, recovered the stolen vehicle, and that no one was hurt from his reckless behavior. This car thief and poison peddler came to the wrong county and I hope he enjoys his stay at the Green Roof Inn.”
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a stolen vehicle in the area of State Road 100 West and Water Oak Road in Bunnell. The suspect was later identified as Duane Simpers.
While conducting traffic enforcement on State Road 100 West information was received about a stolen red Chevrolet Tahoe from Orange County that was traveling eastbound on State Road 100 West. The vehicle was observed turning south on County Road 15 and then making a sudden U-turn back onto State Road 100 West. Deputies established static locations in an attempt to deploy stop sticks and the first attempt was unsuccessful. The driver evaded the stop sticks and continued fleeing law enforcement.
In an attempt to locate the vehicle, deputies observed fresh marks on the roadway from Cinnamon Street on to Lemon Street. At this time the Sheriff’s 9-1-1 Center received a call about a vehicle speeding on Ironwood Ave. The vehicle was located stopped on Mangrove Street by deputies but the vehicle fled going south on Avocado Boulevard at a high rate of speed. Because of the suspect’s reckless driving, deputies deactivated all lights.
The vehicle continued to travel throughout Bunnell and flee at the sight of FCSO patrol vehicles. As the vehicle traveled on Clove Ave a deputy was able to successfully deploy stop sticks. The stolen vehicle became disabled in a drainage ditch on Cranberry Ave at County Road 305. The driver fled and ran into the woods. FCSO K-9 was deployed in pursuit of the suspect who, to avoid being apprehended by the K-9, surrendered. Upon Simper’s arrest, two bags of narcotics were located totaling 18g of methamphetamine and ecstasy.
Upon questioning, Simpers stated he went into the woods because he “didn’t want to get in trouble but didn’t want to get bit by a dog,” so he stopped and surrendered. It was determined the female passenger had tried to get Simpers to stop the stolen car multiple times and let her out and he refused. She was not charged.
During a search of the vehicle, multiple clear plastic bags were located on the driver’s floorboard and a bag containing 7.6g of a rock-like substance believed to be methamphetamine. In addition, a pocket-size scale and additional plastic bags were seized.
This is not Simpers' first encounter with law enforcement. He was wanted in Putnam County for Grand Theft Auto. He’s been previously charged in Putnam and Clay Counties for Grand Theft Over $300, Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure, Trafficking in Stolen Property, and Grand Theft Over $20,000.
Simpers was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. He was charged with Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Fleeing to Elude Law Enforcement, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Equipment, Possession of Methamphetamine, Out of County Arrest Warrant, Possession of MDMA, Violation of Probation, and Driving While License Suspended with Knowledge. He’s being held on no bond.