ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 has obtained dashcam video of a highway street race that quickly turned into a pursuit involving a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and ended with the driver's arrest.
The trooper was getting onto eastbound I-4 from State Road 408 when he spotted the race in front of him.
"This was obviously a spontaneous race," said Sgt. Kim Montes, with FHP.
It was around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when the two cars reached high speeds on I-4 in the downtown area, troopers said. One of the vehicles slowed down, while the driver of an older model Acura Integra, 24-year-old David Payette, can be seen in the video speeding up and passing several other vehicles.
The trooper turned on his lights and sirens moments later, but Payette didn't stop and instead tried to flee from the trooper, according to an arrest affidavit.
"He still continued to drive in a manner that put other people at risk, including the trooper," Montes said.
FHP said Payette turned his vehicle's lights off near the Fairbanks Avenue curve and drove away at around 130 miles per hours.
"Now drivers can't see him. He's speeding at a high rate of speed," Montes said.
According to FHP, the trooper pursuing Payette backed off because of the potential risk of a crash.
"If we don't have to chase or pursue, we really don't want to," Montes said. "All it takes is another driver making a lane change, something worse."
But the trooper got a good look at the driver's face and wrote down his license plate number. Hours later FHP showed up at Payette's Orlando home and took him into custody. He was taken to jail in the same patrol car he allegedly tried to flee from on the highway.
"Honestly I wasn't trying to race him. I just, I wanted to get away from him because I didn't want him following me home," Payette said while in the backseat of the patrol car.
Eyewitness News went to Payette's home to get his side of the story but no one was willing to discuss the incident. Payette was charged with fleeing law enforcement and racing on a highway. Court records show he has received more than one dozen traffic citations in Orange County since 2005.