Sergeant Dennis Coleman responded to a disturbance at Knight’s Key Campground this morning (Tuesday). According to callers, a man had thrown water on another camper’s tent and had been rambling about religious issues. He left the campground driving an older red Ford pickup truck with a bicycle in the bed of the truck.
Sgt. Coleman saw the truck pass him heading southbound from Knight’s Key and he turned around and attempted to stop it. The truck failed to stop. The sergeant followed the truck across the Seven Mile Bridge. The truck failed to stop, instead dangerously passing numerous vehicles, almost hitting several head on.
The dangerous driving continued as the truck proceeded across the Bahia Honda Bridge and onto Big Pine Key. Finally the truck turned off the highway into St. Peter’s Church on Big Pine Key.
73 year old James Paterson jumped out of the truck. Sgt. Coleman and Deputy Paul Bean ordered him to the ground. Paterson began yelling that he was “on sacred ground” and that the officers “could not touch” him. He struggled as they took him into custody.
Paterson was charged with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding police and resisting arrest with violence. He was booked into jail.