Woman leads detective on wild car chase

OKEECHOBEE — Sirens blared and lights flashed, but that didn’t stop Roneika Wright, 19, from trying to evade the police in a Hollywoodesque car chase.

Roneika Wright

Roneika Wright

Detective Jack Boon responded to a drug complaint on April 27 at the Budget Inn, 201 S. Parrott Ave., where a man renting a room had been arrested and management had been informed that there were drugs in the room.

Management reported that a young female had asked to gain access to the room, claiming to be the girlfriend of the man. While the detective was speaking to the manager, a silver Toyota being driven by a woman matching the provided description pulled into the parking lot.

After failing to respond to Detective Boon’s request to pull into a parking space so they could talk, Wright accelerated towards the entrance of the Budget Inn and out of the parking lot, forcing several painters who were painting the breezeway to jump out of the way to avoid injury.

In what can only be envisioned as a car chase straight from an action thriller, Wright pulled into the northbound side of U.S. 441, causing multiple vehicles to come to a halt to avoid an accident. She then continued north and failed to stop at the red traffic signal at the intersection of U.S. 441 and S.R. 70, causing more vehicles to come to a screeching halt, again to avoid an accident.

Wright continued, with Detective Boon in hot pursuit in his unmarked police vehicle.

Wright began to accelerate and weave in and out of traffic in a desperate attempt to lose the detective, and then she turned left onto Northwest Sixth Street, violating the right of way of both northbound and southbound traffic, again causing more vehicles to come to a stop. From there, she accelerated to an excessive speed of 80 mph in a 25 mph zone before failing to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of Northwest Sixth Street and Northwest Ninth Ave. She again accelerated to 80 mph and caused even more vehicles to stop to narrowly avoid an accident. As she crossed over the railroad crossing, her car became airborne.

She then continued to drive north on Ninth Avenue and attempted to turn left onto Northwest 11th Street, whereupon her vehicle began to fishtail, and she jumped from the moving vehicle, leaving her passenger in distress in the out-of-the control vehicle.

From there, she took off on foot with Detective Boon following, and he arrested her in the 900 block of Northwest 10th Street bringing the thrilling chase to its ultimate and inevitable conclusion.

After a search of her pocketbook, Detective Boon found a small baggy containing less than a gram of marijuana.

Wright was arrested on the felony charge of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer, along with misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, no valid driver’s license, and possession of marijuana under 20 grams. Her bond was to be set.

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