Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police chase after kidnap call ends in crash

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have charged one man after an early morning car chase Monday resulted in a crash when the fleeing driver lost control of his vehicle.

Charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, no valid driver's license, fleeing and eluding, and violation of probation was Julius L. Simons, 20, of 1000 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg police released Simons' passenger, Keenan J. Wynn, 20, of 5817 Fairfield Ave. S, Apartment 6, St. Petersburg.

Detectives have referred allegations of kidnapping to the State Attorney's Office for investigation.

They say the incident appears to be drug-related.

St. Petersburg police say it all began about 7 a.m. when they received a cellphone call from Tracy Lilly, who told dispatchers he was calling from a Chase Bank ATM near 38th Avenue N and 49th Street. Lilly said he was being forced by two men to withdraw cash from the machine to pay an alleged drug debt.

The two men were waiting in a white van parked near the ATM, Lilly said. He thought they had a gun. After describing the van, he abruptly hung up when, he said, the two men approached him.

About 10 minutes later, officers noticed a van matching the description in the area of 19th Avenue N and 49th Street. They tried to stop the van, which began to accelerate south on 49th.

Traveling about 55 mph, according to police, the van then veered west then southbound again on 50th Street where the driver lost control and crashed at the intersection of First Avenue N.

Simons was captured near a house at 5144 First Ave. N. His passenger, Wynn, was found at the accident scene. Lilly was also found in the van. Neither he nor the two suspects suffered any significant injury as a result of the accident, police said.

Police chase after kidnap call ends in crash 12/23/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 23, 2013 11:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate


    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers


    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem


    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.