PALM COAST, Fla. — 42-year-old Palm Coast man Jason Aaron Keel is facing four charges, including three felonies, after he pointed a handgun at a Sheriff’s corporal who pulled him over for a traffic violation Thursday night, according to a report from Flagler County Sheriff's Office.
No shots were fired and no injuries were reported during the incident, which began around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the report. A FCSO corporal spotted Keel behind the wheel of a white Ford Fusion heading east on Palm Coast Parkway near Old Kings Road, pulling him over in a Bank of America parking lot.
The corporal witnessed Keel drive into a crosswalk with a steady red light, prompting the traffic stop, the report continued. Keel, who was the only person inside the Ford, pulled into the parking lot and told the corporal he had a gun when the corporal approached his vehicle.
When the corporal told Keel to show his hands, he did so at first, then he reached for a black handgun which was lying on the front passenger seat and pointed the barrel at the corporal, the report said. Keel claimed he was just trying to hand over the gun.
The corporal pulled out his own firearm ordering Keel to put the gun down and exit the car. Keel complied and the corporal held him at gunpoint until additional deputies could respond to assist in the arrest, the report said.
It was later determined that Keel’s gun was loaded with a live round in the chamber, according to the report.
“If not for the de-escalation and tactical training we provide our deputies, this idiot would be dead,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This guy made a series of bad choices, starting with driving a car drunk and not stopping properly at a red light, then refusing to comply with lawful orders and pointing a gun at a deputy sheriff. I’m grateful our corporal was not hurt and this guy should be counting his lucky stars that he’s in jail and not in the morgue!”
"Keel began reaching into the front passenger seat, deliberately and intentionally disobeying Cpl. West's lawful orders to place both hands on the steering wheel. Cpl. West asked Jason 'what are you doing?' and then stated 'stop reaching around.' Keel continued to disobey Cpl. West's lawful commands and continued to reach under a t-shirt laying on the front passenger seat," the report said.
Keel refused to submit to field sobriety tests at the scene and refused a breathalyzer test at the jail, the report said. Keel is is being held on $25,000 bond at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, using a firearm under the influence of alcohol, carrying a concealed firearm and driving under the influence of alcohol. He has no prior arrests in Flagler County.