A Florida man left a passenger behind at a gas station off Interstate 10 as he ran from deputies and crashed his vehicle in Long Beach, Sheriff Troy Peterson said.
A clerk at the Shell gas station on County Farm Road, just south of I-10, called the sheriff’s department Wednesday morning to report three men had tried to buy items with Walmart gift cards. The cards were declined, and it raised the clerk’s suspicions, Peterson said.
Deputies saw the vehicle at the Chevron station next door and tried to stop it.
The driver left one of his passengers and drove off, the sheriff said.
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Deputies reported the vehicle was speeding and running stop signs as it turned west on Pineville Road and turned south on Espy Boulevard, where the driver lost control and the vehicle crashed, Peterson said.
Deputies found three injured men and meth in the vehicle, he said.
The meth reportedly belonged to the driver, 26-year-old Joshua Frank Valentine of Pensacola, Florida.
One of the passengers, 30-year-old Julian Bryce Davis, said he is homeless, but he’s a fugitive from justice, Peterson said. Davis was wanted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department on a stolen property charge, the Harrison County jail docket shows.
Valentine and Davis were taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport for treatment and were released to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies arrested Valentine on charges of felony evasion and possession of meth, with bonds set at a total of $75,000 by Judge Brandon Ladner.
Davis was being held at the Harrison County jail with no bond pending extradition to Pensacola.
The passenger who was in the car during the police chase and the one who was left behind were released, Peterson said.