High Springs woman leads deputy on chase

Published: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 6:54 p.m.

A High Springs woman who had no driver’s license led a deputy on a chase Saturday night that reached 80 mph in residential areas, according to a report.

After the deputy stopped her and asked her about being a habitual traffic offender, the report said, Kelli Amber McLees told him, “Now you see why I ran?’’

McLees, 31, of 20619 NW 138th Ave., pulled out in front of Deputy Daniel Qualmann in the 14300 block of Newberry Road around 10 p.m., causing the deputy to hit his brakes, the Alachua County Sheriff’s report said. Qualmann followed McLees several miles east on the road while she drifted from side to side and into the bike lane.

When the deputy pulled her over in the 9100 block of West Newberry, McLees started spinning her tires and sped off with Qualmann in pursuit. The report says she sped in the oncoming lane through a four-way stop sign and the chase continued to Southwest Eighth Avenue, then into a residential neighborhood at 80 mph in a 35 mph zone.

As the car sped on, a man opened the car’s passenger door and held his hands up. The car slowed and while it was still moving, McLees got out and started running before another deputy caught her. She was stopped at 500 SW 77th Terrace.

McLees told Qualmann that she fled because she did not have a license and that she had warrants for her arrest. She said she just wanted to get home to see her son “and figured she would take her chances,’’ the report said.

Inside the car, deputies say they found marijuana, traces of cocaine, and several syringes. Two men in the car were not arrested.

McLees was arrested on charges of marijuana possession, reckless driving, driving while license suspended, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing police.

She was being held at the Alachua County jail on Sunday on $165,000 bond.

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