HIGHLANDS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man who led Highlands County deputies on a high-speed pursuit late Sunday night is behind bars after the chase came crashing to an end.
Deputies said the incident began when 25-year-old Anthony Powell, of Delray Beach, fled a traffic stop in Polk County. As he made his way south, deputies saw him head into Highlands County driving a white 2020 Jeep.
Powell reportedly ran multiple red lights and spent “long stretches” driving against traffic at speeds over 90 mph, forcing several cars to take evasive action.
As deputies chased Powell down US 27, a 22-year-old woman leaped out of the car at high speeds. Authorities said she sustained “multiple injuries” as a result.
She was airlifted to a trauma center where she was stabilized. She later told deputies she felt her life was in danger, and she was being held hostage after Powell refused to let her out of the car.
Stop sticks were eventually deployed as the pursuit made its way to Lake Francis Road north of Lake Placid. Deputies said Powell “tried, and failed,” to avoid them as he ran into a guide wire from an electrical pole.
When that failed to stop him, deputies rammed the Jeep to end the pursuit.
Powell was arrested and charged with felony fleeing/eluding law enforcement causing injury, DUI involving serious bodily injury, leaving the scene of a crash, false imprisonment, and driving without a valid license.