LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputy is out of a job after allegedly leading deputies on a high-speed chase on Sunday.
According to a release from the sheriff’s office, a deputy clocked a Subaru Impreza, driven by Jakob Kite, 22, going 105 mph in a 60 mph zone in Lakeland just after midnight.
Another deputy observed the car at speeds of 114 and 117 mph while on the way to Bartow. A chase ensued, reaching speeds of 130 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the sheriff’s office.
Kite allegedly refused to stop for deputies, ran a stop sign, and continued onto Hwy. 540A, where he struck a concrete median. Kite was accused of “(swerving) towards one of the deputy’s patrol vehicles in an aggressive manner” and nearly hitting it, according to the release.
Deputies conducted a PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle. After allegedly refusing to exit the vehicle, Kite was taken into custody and was suspected of driving under the influence. While at the sheriff’s office processing center, Kite’s breath alcohol level tested at 0.035 and 0.034.
Kite was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting without violence, resisting with violence, fleeing to elude, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, reckless driving, and DUI. He also received several citations, including four speeding tickets, and running a stop sign.
Kite resigned his position with the sheriff’s office following his arrest. He joined PCSO in 2020 as a detention deputy became a deputy sheriff in April 2023.
“This kind of driving and reckless behavior is unacceptable for any responsible citizen, let alone a deputy sheriff,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “It is hard to describe how disappointed and angry I am towards Kite’s dangerously stupid behavior.”
Judd said if Kite didn’t resign, he would have been fired.
“We will absolutely hold him accountable for his criminal conduct,” Judd said. “I appreciate and applaud our traffic deputies for doing the right thing and taking Kite into custody.”