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Man accused of trying to steal deputy's vehicle, nearly ran him over while fleeing

Posted at 2:45 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 14:47:37-04

A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy says a suspect nearly ran him over after trying to steal an unmarked PBSO vehicle.

South Florida Task Force members looking for a stolen vehicle in West Palm Beach on July 17 say Wesley Kelley tried to break into their vehicle while they were inside of it.

Kelley sped away from the law enforcement officers, forcing one to jump out of the way as Kelley crashed through a fence, according to a report.

A deputy says Kelley pulled up next to the unmarked PBSO vehicle parked near 45th St. and Haverhill Rd. The deputy reported seeing Kelley go into his trunk and take out a screwdriver and white gloves.

The deputy says he saw Kelley crouch down and pull on the PBSO vehicle’s rear door, trying to open it. Then, he says he heard Kelley “messing” with his license plate.

The deputy wrote in a report that he got out of the vehicle, identifying himself as a deputy sheriff with PBSO and asked Kelley what he was doing. He says Kelley apologize but tried driving away.

The deputy says he opened Kelley’s door and grabbed his hand. Kelley nearly hit another deputy with the vehicle as he sped away, the report states.

The law enforcement officers reported watching Kelley drive through a fence of a nearby business, crash next to a canal bank and run away.

When officers arrested Kelley, they say he told him that he “always wanted to try ramming a gate with a car to see if it would bust open like in the movies.”

Kelley was caught after he tried hiding in an early learning center, the report states. The deputy says Kelley admitted to being a fugitive on the run.

West Palm Beach Fire Rescue treated Kelley for a cut to his cheek he got while running away.  When deputies searched Kelley’s car, they say they found several tools used for burglaries such as bolt cutters, a crowbar, and a ski mask. 

Records show the car Kelley was driving was reported stolen by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police in June.

Kelley was charged on Aug. 23 with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, burglary, grand theft, and fleeing. He is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on more than $100,000 bond.