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Polk Sheriff's Deputy Arrested After High-Speed Chase

A recently-hired deputy sheriff proved himself unworthy of his selection by driving his vehicle at high speed and fleeing to elude fellow deputies early Sunday morning.

Jakob Kite, 22, was arrested following a high-speed chase around an area between Bartow and Lakeland, After his speed was measured at over 100 miles per hour he refused to pull over for a traffic stop, instead fleeing from deputies.

Polk County Sheriff's Office traffic deputies were conducting traffic enforcement on US Hwy 98 South when they clocked a Subaru Impreza travelling south on Hwy 98 towards Bartow at 105 mph in a 60 mph zone. According to a statement from the Polk County Sheriff's office, another deputy later clocked the vehicle between 114 mph and 117 mph utilizing a laser speed enforcement device.

Deputies began pursuing the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop, and saw it turn onto Lyle Pkwy in Bartow, then north onto EF Griffin Road towards Hwy 540A. There one of the traffic deputies clocked the vehicle at 130 mph in a 45 mph zone using moving radar.

The deputies attempted to initiate a traffic stop on EF Griffin Road utilizing emergency lights and siren but the driver of the vehicle refused to stop.

The speeding car then ran the stop sign at EF Griffin Rd and Hwy 540A, veered to the left, and struck the concrete median separating westbound and eastbound lanes of travel on Hwy 540A, damaging the front tires of the vehicle.

The vehicle then swerved towards one of the deputy's patrol vehicles in an aggressive manner, almost striking his patrol vehicle before continuing westbound on Hwy 540A.

After several attempts, one of the deputies successfully conducted a PIT maneuver (Precision Immobilization Technique) that disabled the vehicle. The driver initially refused to exit his car.

Once taken into custody, deputies reported that Kite appeared to be impaired/intoxicated. He was transported to the Sheriff's Processing Center where breath samples were taken, and his breath alcohol level was determined to be .035 G/210L and .034 G/210L. A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluated Kite and a urine sample was taken.

Kite has been 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. Kite was also issued citations for multiple driving infractions, including four speeding tickets (130 mph in a 45 mph zone / 105 mph in a 60 mph zone / 90 mph in a 45 mph zone / 60 mph in a 45 mph zone) and twice running a stop sign.

Kite was hired as a Polk County detention deputy trainee in February of 2020, and later became a deputy sheriff assigned to the southwest district in April of 2023. He resigned after he was arrested.

"This kind of driving and reckless behavior is unacceptable for any responsible citizen, let alone a deputy sheriff," said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. "It is hard to describe how disappointed and angry I am towards Kite's dangerously stupid behavior. Had he not resigned, he would have been fired. We will absolutely hold him accountable for his criminal conduct. I appreciate and applaud our traffic deputies for doing the right thing and taking Kite into custody."


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