St. Pete man charged after fleeing trooper at 140 mph on I-275, FHP says

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — A St. Petersburg man was arrested early Sunday morning after fleeing from a Florida Highway Patrol trooper while under the influence, according to court documents.

Arrest affidavits said at 2:44 a.m., a trooper pursued Barnard Stokes Jr., 39, south on I-275 while the suspect was driving his white Chevrolet Camaro.

Troopers said Stokes sped at 140 mph while passing other drivers. However, the pursuing trooper disabled the Camaro at the intersection 22nd Street North and 54th Avenue North with a PIT maneuver.

According to the affidavits, the driver then tried to run away but was caught shortly afterward.

Barnard Stokes Jr. (Credit: Florida Highway Patrol)

Troopers said Stokes was not able to perform field sobriety tests and had “bloodshot and watery eyes, emitted the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage from his breath as he spoke and poor balance while standing on scene.”

Investigators said they also found an alcoholic beverage and burnt/unburnt marijuana in Stokes’ car.

Stokes was charged with several offenses including fleeing to elude, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license. According to the FHP, this was Stokes’ nine prior convictions for driving without a valid license and had two prior fleeing charges.


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