Keys man takes FWC officer on wild chase, crashes stolen truck

A 36-year-old man was arrested Monday on a slew of charges Monday after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase on U.S. 1 and into 15th Street in Marathon that ended in a crash at Burdines Waterfront Marina.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which made the arrest, charged Timothy McKnight with felony fleeing police, felony grand theft auto and felony driving with a revoked license. Misdemeanor counts include reckless driving and driving under the influence.

Overall, he faces 11 criminal counts from the 4:15 p.m. chase.

FWC Lt. Michael Haney wrote in his report that McKnight was driving a white Chevrolet pickup and failed to stop at the stop sign on 15th street where motorists enter U.S. 1 from the oceanside. He was in an "out of control manner, sliding across both northbound lanes and partially into the inside southbound lane."

Haney wrote that he activated his lights and McKnight swerved around traffic on the right shoulder of U.S. 1, making a U-turn back onto the highway and striking a southbound pickup in the process.

The report says McKnight then drove back to 15th Street, traveling at an "extremely high rate of speed in a reckless manner, demonstrating wanton disregard" for people and property.

Haney wrote that he used his Taser to take down McKnight during a short foot chase after McKnight crashed the vehicle into a sign and tree.

The truck's owner, Robert Palma, told the FWC officer that McKnight did not have permission to use the vehicle.

Haney described McKnight as obviously drunk and asked if he would submit to a breath test, which McKnight denied. McKnight allegedly told Haney that he was not drunk or on drugs.

Haney said McKnight began crying, yelling and threatening him when he was asked to provide a urine for a possible drug test.

McKnight remains jailed on $75,000 bond.