A man is behind bars, facing a slew of charges after he led police on a high-speed pursuit, that crossed The Villages neighborhoods, a golf course, and ended in a crash and foot chase.
Jesse Charles Webb, 29, is in the Lake County jail facing, among other charges, fleeing and eluding police, motor vehicle theft and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
It all began at 9:25 a.m. Sunday when Lady Lake police were called to assist paramedics who claimed a homeless man they were treating was in fear that “people were eating his brains out.”
As police arrived at West Boone Court and Paradise Drive near the Orange Blossom Hills Golf and Country Club, police said Webb jumped into William Easton’s community watch vehicle and sped away. They chased after him through streets and past homes in the senior living community and, ultimately, onto the golf course itself.
Dash cam video obtained by WESH 2 News shows the stolen vehicle rolling over hills, putting greens, fairways and tee boxes and nearly running over several golfers who had to move out of the way. One of those golfers, Patricia O’Hara, tells WESH 2 News, “We were really scared. It was a frightening experience. He was so close, he ran over my golf towel as we were getting out of the way.”
The suspect vehicle drove off the course at one point, onto local streets, then back onto the course as officers tried to deploy stop sticks at Magnolia Avenue and Water Tower Circle.
He then drove onto U.S. Highway 27/441 and at the Freedom Pointe senior living center, at 1550 El Camino Real, The Villages, the suspect crashed and fled on foot. Two officers chased him down and arrested Webb.
In the incident report provided to WESH 2 News, police identify Webb as a convicted felon, and a habitual offender out of Georgia. Police said he has two active warrants for violation of probation in that state.
The chase resulted in two other minor crashes involving drivers Kathy McClear and Michael Keeling, but no serious reported injuries. McClear told WESH 2 News, she was in a turn lane when the suspect’s vehicle struck hers. She added, “I didn’t know what was going on but it shook me up. My hip is bothering me so I’m still recovering from it.”
The manager of the golf course, Gordon Carlson, told WESH 2 News, “We had $7,000 worth of damage from this chase, but we’re putting the course in shape and we’re open.”