Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) deputies made 14 arrests this past weekend between 6 p.m. on Friday, February, 2, 2024, and 6 a.m. on Monday, February 5, 2024. They handled 573 calls for service and made 109 traffic stops.
“This past weekend, deputies dealt with a variety of criminals,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “In each of these cases, obeying the law and keeping a level-head would have prevented being arrested.”
Habitual Traffic Offender Arrested After Fleeing into the Woods
On Friday, February 3, just after 2:30 a.m., deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a truck with an equipment violation on Canal Avenue in Bunnell. As the deputy made a U-Turn to stop the vehicle, it tuned onto Lancewood, then turned down more side streets trying to lose the deputy. When deputies turned on to Candleberry Street, they found the vehicle parked in the middle of the road, with one passenger standing on the outside of the vehicle with his hands up, and another exiting the vehicle on the rear passenger side. The driver had fled in to nearby woods.
Both passengers identified the driver of the vehicle as Brian Cowing, 49, a known habitual traffic offender from Bunnell, and said he had fled Eastbound on foot through a nearby wooded area. Deputies could hear running through the brush and deployed an agency drone, which identified a heat signature in the woods. Deputies converged on the location of the heat signature and gave clear instructions to Cowing to come out, which he initially ignored, but eventually complied.
After deputies confirmed that Cowing was the driver of the vehicle, he was arrested and transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility for Driving While License Suspended with Knowledge Habitual Traffic Offender, as well as Resisting Arrest without Violence. He is currently being held on $3,000 bond.
Cowing has been arrested on multiple DUIs and DUI-related traffic offenses, before and after his license was suspended in 2014. In 2017, he was also arrested for Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer.
“This habitual traffic offender endangers the community every time he illegally gets behind the wheel,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “Fortunately, our deputies arrested him after his poorly planned game of hide and seek. My warning to other unlicensed drivers: set down the keys, and stay off Flagler County roadways or you’ll find yourself like this habitual offender, enjoying long-term parking at the Green Roof Inn.”
For bodycam and drone footage of the incident: http://tinyurl.com/5c39as7w
Deputies Arrest Man After Fist Fight Turns into Road Rage Shooting
On Sunday, just after 9 a.m., deputies responded to a call after two males began physically fighting in the parking lot of Dollar General on Matanzas Woods Parkway in Palm Coast. Prior to deputies arrival, both males left the area in their vehicles.
A few minutes later, one of the drivers called 911 saying that he was chasing a vehicle after the driver, later identified as Victor Smith, 46 from Lexington, SC, shot at his vehicle five times with a revolver, and stated two of the bullets struck his vehicle.
Both vehicles were located on U.S. 1 heading Northbound, and a high-risk traffic stop was conducted without incident. Smith was arrested for Battery, Discharging a Firearm from a Vehicle, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Shoot or Throw a Missile into an Occupied Vehicle and the Use of a Firearm during a Felony.
Victor was transported to Advent Health where he refused treatment, and was then transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. He recently posted bond of $96,000.
The investigation determined the original fight occurred because the victim was currently living with and dating Smith’s estranged wife, following their separation approximately five months ago.
“This is a perfect example of how personal disputes can turn violent,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “While both parties should have walked away, one of them made the poor choice to resolve the dispute with a firearm. That decision landed him a room at the Green Roof Inn.”