A man was arrested Saturday after nearly striking a Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputy during a vehicle chase on Friday, according to court records.
The pursuit began at 11:45 p.m. Friday when Deputy 1st Class Nathan Rector noticed a man wearing a cowboy hat “moving around and being loud” in the parking lot of the Sheetz gas station at 1300 E. Patrick St., according to charging documents filed in county district court. Rector followed the man after watching him enter a silver 1999 Lincoln Navigator and leave the area, but the man did not appear to be impaired or have trouble driving. Rector was about to stop following the Navigator when it swerved and took off at high speed.
Rector, who was driving an unmarked cruiser, activated his lights and siren, and after a short pursuit the SUV pulled over on Quinn Road. As Rector got out of his car and approached the Navigator, the SUV suddenly reversed, prompting the deputy to scramble to his left to avoid being pinned if the SUV struck his cruiser, the documents state.
The Navigator stopped short of hitting Rector’s car, but then revved its engine and sped off again. Before the first stop, Rector had requested a check of the vehicle’s plates and learned that the registered owner had an outstanding arrest warrant, but the deputy hadn’t gotten a good enough look of the driver to verify his identity using the registered owner’s driver’s license photo, the documents state.
As the chase continued, more units caught up to assist Rector in pursuing the runaway driver, who committed several traffic violations and reckless maneuvers, the documents state.
The pursuit was eventually called off after deputies watched the Navigator spin out once and two failed attempts were made to stop the vehicle using stop sticks — a strip of spikes thrown across the road to deflate a fleeing vehicle’s tires — just as the SUV pulled into a driveway in the 10000 block of Liberty Road.
The SUV continued fleeing as the deputies watched, driving behind a building and through a field to return to Liberty Road, but a records search of the vehicle’s license plate revealed that the address the SUV pulled into was owned by a relative of its registered owner, the documents state.
Further investigation revealed that the Navigator’s registered owner was already in the county jail in connection with a separate offense and, when Rector questioned the man and presented him surveillance footage of the SUV’s driver the next day, the man identified the driver as his son, Kristopher A. Staley, 20, the documents state.
The deputy also learned that Staley was forbidden from using the Navigator and had charges filed against him stating that fact from several days earlier, according to the documents.
When Rector confronted Staley at his home in the 11500 block of Liberty Oak Drive at 4:25 p.m. Saturday and placed him under arrest, Staley was confrontational and made several statements to the deputy indicating he had been the driver during the chase.
Staley was charged with second-degree assault, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and 17 traffic violations. He was initially ordered held without bail in a hearing before a district court commissioner on Sunday, but was later released on $25,000 unsecured personal bail after a bail review hearing Monday afternoon in Frederick County District Court, according to online court records.