HIGH SPRINGS – Michael Allen Stinnett, 419 S.E. Happy Valley Glen, High Springs, was arrested on Dec. 26 following a high-speed rampage through High Springs and into Columbia County. Multiple calls to the High Springs Police Department (HSPD) alerted authorities that a vehicle was traveling recklessly through the city and was running vehicles off of the road with speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Officer Ethan Presnell was able to catch up to the vehicle in the vicinity of Winn Dixie and NW U.S. Hwy. 441 and signaled the driver to stop with the officer's emergency lights flashing and siren sounding. The suspect vehicle increased speed. The driver refused to stop and continued northbound on U.S. 441 into Columbia County as HSPD backup units were en route.

After approximately another two miles, the suspect vehicle came to a sudden halt when faced with heavy traffic. Backup officers were on the scene by this time as the driver was ordered out of the vehicle. The driver was identified by his driver's license as 47-year-old Michael Alan Stinnett.

Officers determined Stinnett was intoxicated and he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Felony Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement Officers. Although HSPD made the arrest, Stinnett was taken to Columbia County Jail because the arrest was made in Columbia County.

“Suspects are usually jailed in the county where they are arrested,” said HSPD Acting Chief Antoine Sheppard. “Procedurally, we will file charges against the suspect in Alachua County and Columbia County will drop their charges so the suspect can be tried in our county since we actually made the arrest,” he said.

Sheppard was quick to point out that citizens who called HSPD about the driver helped the department get the suspect off of the streets before he hurt himself or others.

“Those calls led to our ability to respond quickly to the problem,” said Sheppard. “Our citizens are a valuable asset to this city.”

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