CLEARWATER -- The Clearwater Police Department has taken a man into custody after he was accused of driving through the north part of Clearwater Beach while being pursued by law enforcement.
According to police, Ryan Michael Stiles, 27, of Pinellas Park drove north through the sand all the way until he reached Caladesi Island. He reportedly hit chairs and umbrellas.
Stiles has been charged with DUI, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, hit and run with property damage, felony criminal mischief and threatening a public servant. He could face more charges, police said.
Police said the first call came in about 4:26 p.m. of a possible drunken driver at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The caller said he saw Stiles broadcasting his drive on Facebook Live.
Another call came in from California.
Stiles drove west on Clearwater Beach and entered the beach at the dead end at Papaya Street at 4:41 p.m. Nine minutes later, he was taken into custody on the north tip of Caladesi Island.
During his drive, he struck a vehicle east of Island Way, causing minor damage but no injuries.
The officer who spoke at the presser said Stiles was incoherent on the scene, but he wasn’t listening specifically to what he was saying so he doesn’t know if he gave any excuses or reasons why beyond what he said in the Facebook Live.
A video posted to Stiles's Facebook account shows him driving while being pursued by law enforcement, and out the vehicle's window you can see he's driving on a beach.
According to Clearwater police, Stiles' destructive ways continued in the holding cell, where he took off his belt, swung it and broke glass in the door.
The reckless driver was also reckless in our holding.cell. He took off his belt and swung it around and shattered the glass in the door. pic.twitter.com/9DawwGsGfV— @myclearwaterPD (@myclearwaterPD) July 21, 2017
No injuries have been reported from the incident.
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