News Release: Wakulla County Sheriff's Office
A Wakulla County youth from Sopchoppy is wanted in connection with a law enforcement vehicle chase that took Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office deputies on the closed Wildwood Country Club links April 5, according to Sheriff Charlie Creel. An 18-year-old Crawfordville teenager who was the driver was arrested later during the same day.
The youths, ages 18 and 20, were observed on U.S. Highway 98 in Medart nearly strike a motorist coming in the opposite direction. The vehicle crossed the center line a second time and Deputy Alan Middlebrooks and Deputy Matt Hedges attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
The vehicle, driven by the 18-year-old, turned into the Wildwood Golf Course parking lot and continued onto the grass of the driving range. The suspect vehicle continued from hole to hole running through sand bunkers creating damage. The vehicle went from Hole 10 to Hole 11 and Hole 15 to Hole 16 where the vehicle stopped at a wood line and the youths jumped out and fled on foot into the woods.
Deputies Middlebrooks and Hedges continued their pursuit on foot onto 222 Jean Drive west of the golf course. During the vehicle chase, Deputy Middlebrooks avoided the bunkers and other hazards in an attempt to keep from damaging the golf course.
Lt. Sherrell Morrison and Sgt. Lorne Whaley assisted with the search which was unsuccessful at that time. The suspect vehicle was towed from the scene and contact was made with the vehicle owner to establish suspects in the case. Suspects were identified and the teenager was interviewed.
Coby Dale Blanchett was arrested for fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement, criminal mischief, resisting an officer without violence and the traffic citation of careless driving. He was released from the Wakulla County Jail on April 6. The same charges are pending against the 20-year-old except for the careless driving citation.
The investigation determined that the two youths escaped through a private residence on Jean Drive and across Wakulla Middle School property before running to Wildcat Alley and Casora Drive. The two youths were picked up by a friend at the Wakulla County Library.
Deputy Vicki Mitchell and Deputy Ward Kromer also investigated.