A 50-year-old Lake Worth, Florida man was arrested by Sheriff’s Office Deputies shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday after Florida City Police advised they were pursuing a black Jeep Liberty involved in hit-and-run crashes on the mainland.
Mark Edward Welch was charged with DUI, fleeing and eluding, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Welch’s flight was stymied by Stinger® tire spikes employed by the Sheriff’s Office at Mile Marker 108 on U.S. 1. The Jeep continued to travel south with flat tires. The Jeep struck a concrete barrier wall before coming to a halt near the crest of the Jewfish Creek Bridge at Mile Marker 107. Deputies drew their service weapons while watching the driver — later identified as Welch — thrash about in the driver’s seat as if he were concealing/retrieving something from/under the passenger seat.
Welch then exited the Jeep while ignoring commands to put his hands up. Deputy Jaime Miller arrived by this time and Deputy Miller placed Welch into custody while Sgt. Alvarez and Deputy Torres kept their guns pointed at the Jeep. Welch stated there was a female passenger in the Jeep. There was no other occupant in the Jeep.
A glass pipe that tested positive for cocaine was found in the Jeep.
Welch had copious saliva and mucous coming from his nose and mouth whilst he continually hacked and coughed. He was unable to stand. His breath was shallow. Welch stated he had been smoking crack cocaine since Tuesday morning. Welch stated he had ingested 20 crack rocks while being chased by police.