St. Pete Man Runs From Police Not First Time

A 27-year-old man sent three people to the hospital Wednesday night as he attempted to evade police, officials said.

Jaylin L. Benniefield, 27, was driving a 1998 Honda Accord on 22nd Avenue S, near 31st Street just before 10:30 p.m. when a marked police cruiser attempted to pull him over.

Benniefield sped away eastbound on 22nd Avenue, swerving in and out of the westbound lanes to avoid cars, police said.

As he attempted to cross back over the double yellow line after passing another eastbound vehicle, police said, Benniefield rear-ended a 2007 Toyota Camry carrying Katrina Peak, 47, and her husband, Robert, 51.

Benniefield then veered into the outside lane and crashed into a taxi, being driven by Devon Irwin, 45, police said.

Irwin, the Peaks and Benniefield were all taken to Bayfront Medical Center with serious, but non-life threatening, injuries.

Police believe alcohol played a role in the incident and anticipate multiple charges to be filed against Benniefield.

An investigation is underway.

According to state records, this isn’t the first time Benniefield has tried to run from the law.

He was sentenced to a year and a half of parole in May for fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers.

Benniefield has also been arrested numerous times in Pinellas County over the past five years, according to jail records. He has been charged with drug possession, trafficking, disorderly conduct and battery of a law enforcement officer.

St. Petersburg Times