Career criminal with violent past arrested in Lee County

Author: Lee County Sheriff's Office
Published: Updated:
Jessie James Peterson, 34. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday, detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man with a long list of violent crimes after he fled from law enforcement.

According to LCSO, deputies saw Jessie James Peterson, 34, driving a black GMC Acadia committing multiple traffic violations on Tamiami Trail in North Fort Myers.

Detectives saw the vehicle following too closely and change lanes without signaling, almost causing a collision. As a result, they pulled Peterson over. While approaching the vehicle, detectives watched the vehicle inch forward and abruptly accelerate, fleeing the scene. The vehicle then made a U-turn and intentionally struck a patrol vehicle, causing minor injuries to detectives. The vehicle then drove onto a sidewalk, collided with a guardrail and drove into a ditch.

A witness saw the whole thing and told WINK News after the man fled she heard a loud noise and then saw smoke rising.

Rachel Allen said an SUV was weaving in and out of lanes along N Tamiami Trail. Then seconds later, she heard a loud “pop” of a collision. She told WINK News a big flume of dust rose up 15 ft. to 20 ft. in the air.

Peterson was later identified as a violent career criminal, who has been arrested over 20 times in Lee County.

MORE: Lee County deputies heroically retrieve kids from fleeing car

While approaching the vehicle, detectives were shocked to find two young children in the backseat. Detectives also observed Peterson, now also in the backseat, using one of the juvenile children as a shield from law enforcement. Immediately, detectives retrieved the children from Peterson’s grasp to observe them for injuries. The Department of Children and Families was subsequently contacted and the children were turned over to a family member.

Detectives later learned that the vehicle contained 2.55 grams of Fentanyl, 8.76 grams of cocaine, 7.57 grams of heroin, 22.27 grams of methamphetamine, one pill of Oxycodone and a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber firearm.

Photo via LCSO

Jessie James Peterson was arrested and charged with Child Abuse, Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Flee and Elude, Resist Arrest, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and several drug-related charges to include Possession of a Controlled Substance.

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