VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – Around 4:15 this afternoon, deputies were alerted to a stolen Cocoa Police Department vehicle entering Volusia County on the I-95. A pursuing police officer was able to force the stolen cruiser off the highway and into the woods, where it crashed and became stuck around the 252 mile marker. However, as additional responding units approached, the suspect was able to jump out of the wrecked patrol car and into another Cocoa Police Department vehicle, again fleeing northbound on I-95.
After units along I-95 successfully deployed stop sticks, the suspect again ran off the highway and into a muddy median around the 258 mile marker, where Sheriff Mike Chitwood and Division Chief Brian Henderson approached the vehicle. Additional units quickly converged behind them to take the suspect into custody. No injuries were reported.
Charges are still being determined and finalized.
UPDATE MAY 7, 2021, 6:51 AM: The suspect has been identified as Xavier Javern Cummings, 33. Cummings was charged with armed burglary of a conveyance, escape, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of grand theft firearm, two counts of grand theft motor vehicle, and driving while license suspended as a habitual offender.
UPDATE MAY 7, 2021, 3:03 PM: A supplement report written following an interview with Cummings indicates he admitted he took a marked Cocoa Police car without verbal permission. He believed he had consent by mental telepathy. He stated he had to get to the next city and later stated he was traveling to Tallahassee and referenced something about Florida Highway Patrol (FHP). He was not clear what his business was with FHP and just rambled on. The report indicates Cummings showed signs of experiencing mental-health issues, stated he used crystal meth earlier in the day, and had not slept in approximately 24 hours.
According to authorities, on May 6, 2021 at approximately 4:21, deputies were alerted of a pursuit involving a stolen Cocoa Police Department vehicle (FL tag: XF0006) traveling north on I-95, entering Volusia County in Oak Hill. Deputies responded to the area and set up along I-95 with stop sticks. A VSO Deputy successfully deployed stop sticks on the vehicle at mile marker 249 N I-95. A Cocoa police officer successfully completed a PIT maneuver on the vehicle at the mile marker 252 N I-95, which resulted in the stolen vehicle coming to rest in the wood line. A Edgewater Police Sergeant pinned the vehicle with his patrol vehicle to prevent the stolen vehicle from leaving. VSO deputies and police officers surrounded the vehicle and gave the sole occupant, later identified as Xavier Cummings, commands to exit the vehicle. At that point, Cummings armed himself with a large crowd dispersing pepper spray canister, exited the driver side door, and fled on foot.
Cummings ran directly towards a Cocoa Police K-9 vehicle (2020 Ford Interceptor Utility FL tag: XI1760), which was parked on I-95 at the scene and was unlocked with the keys in the ignition. It should be noted, Cocoa Police K-9 Zena was not inside the vehicle at the time it was stolen. Cummings entered the Cocoa Police K-9 vehicle at the driver’s door, still armed with the pepper spray, and sat in the driver seat. A Cocoa police officer deployed his Taser towards Cummings, and struck him in the left side of his torso with one probe, which was ineffective. Cummings was then able to drive away and fled north on I-95 at a high rate of speed with no regard in the now stolen Cocoa Police K-9 vehicle. Deputies and officers began pursuing the vehicle north on I-95. A VSO Sergeant and Port Orange police officers successfully deployed stop sticks on the vehicle at mile marker 256 N I-95, which caused three of the tires to deflate. Due to the tire damage, vehicle slowed and came to a stop in the median at mile marker 258 N I-95, Daytona Beach. Cummings was then taken into custody by deputies and police officers without incident.