Dramatic police chase airs live during Florida sheriff’s radio interview

Author: Emily Mae Czachor / CBS
Published: Updated:
Police arrest 22-year-old Seth Potter after a chase along I-95 that aired live on radio. Credit: CBS

A radio show featuring a call with a Florida sheriff took an unexpected turn this week when the on-air interview was interrupted by a hectic police chase involving the sheriff.

The unexpected segment unfolded as the co-hosts of “Drew Garabo Live,” a radio series covering news and current events that appears on the local station 102.5 FM in Tampa, attempted to begin what was a planned interview with Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood on Tuesday afternoon. Chitwood was meant to discuss his public condemnation and pushback against antisemitic hate groups that recently circulated in the Volusia County area.

However, when the co-hosts’ phone line connected to start their chat with Chitwood, a chaotic scene played out through the speakers in their recording studio. Sirens blared in the background while officers exchanged commands over a radio signal. The discord was taking place as Chitwood called in for his appearance on the radio show from behind the wheel of his police car.

Eventually, it was revealed that the sheriff became suddenly involved in an active police pursuit while driving near the location of a stolen vehicle, which at the time was driving along Interstate 95.

“I’m not even thinking twice that I’m live for the air and they’re listening to me calling out the pursuit,” Chitwood said over the speaker. Later, the sheriff explained that “FHP [Florida Highway Patrol] was chasing a car, and I just happened to be at the next exit” where the suspect appeared to be traveling.

A video recording of the radio interview, which is available to watch online, cuts to police body camera footage taken during the police pursuit. It shows an officer exiting a police vehicle and assisting in the arrest of a driver whose car was stopped along the side of a major roadway.

Police on Wednesday identified the suspect in the chase as 22-year-old Seth Potter, who now faces multiple charges related to traffic violations and theft, according to the arrest report filed by Florida Highway Patrol and obtained by CBS News. Potter was initially flagged to the patrol on Tuesday afternoon, and troopers received instructions to look out for a white pickup truck without a license plate that was fleeing a patrol captain on I-95, according to the report.

When highway patrol attempted to perform a traffic stop, the suspect allegedly increased the vehicle’s speed, eventually reaching 117 mph while swerving across southbound lanes on the interstate. At one point, the suspect allegedly drove toward an Edgewater police officer who dove out of the way to avoid being hit, the arrest report says.

Potter was arrested and booked into the Volusia County Jail, where he is being held without bond and facing multiple charges, including reckless driving, failure to obey lawful orders, grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft of a firearm, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing/eluding law enforcement with sirens active, at high speeds, with disregard to the safety of other persons or property.

Less than two hours after Potter’s arrest, authorities say a delayed hit revealed that the pickup truck Potter was driving had been reported as a stolen vehicle by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. A stolen firearm was recovered from the vehicle, according to the arrest report. Florida Highway Patrol also noted in the report that while attempting to flee authorities, which is a felony, Potter also violated a Florida state statute by wearing a mask that covered his face.

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