palm coast – A regular traffic stop on Thursday night quickly turned into a fright when the suspect apparently pulled out and pointed his gun at the sheriff’s deputy, Flagler, who stopped him. 42-year-old Jason Keel is in prison for three felony counts and one misdemeanor related to the accident. No shots were fired and fortunately no one was injured.
The encounter began when Corporal Jacob West was said to have committed a traffic light violation at Palm Coast Parkway at approximately 10:34 p.m. Corporal West turned on the lights and pulled him into the parking lot of the nearby Bank of America. Kiel’s window rolled and West reported that he had a gun in his possession. Upon being instructed to do so, Keel put his hands on the steering wheel.
Bodycam footage shows that his hands remained there for a moment before he reached the passenger seat and took out the rifle, apparently pointing west. Jumping back and pulling out his rifle, West Kill was ordered to drop the rifle and get out of the car. Both orders were followed.
The audio in the bodycam footage (attached below) isn’t entirely clear, but Keel may have said something about the effect “I want to let you keep it” To the West, to which the West replied, “Okay, yeah, I appreciate that.”. Representatives noted that Kiel’s speech was somewhat stumbling, and he was later charged with a DUI charge. West did not mention in the arrest report that Keel had given him advance notice that he was about to reach the gun.
When Kell put his hands on the hood as he was asked, West began to scold him for his actions. “This is probably the dumbest thing you could do,” He said. “You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you.” After Kiel said he was trying to surrender the gun, but the arrest report states he was holding it in such a way that the trigger was available and the barrel was pointed west.
Subsequent investigations determined that the rifle, a Glock 43, loaded unimpeded. Although West’s car was an unmarked patrol car, he himself was said to have clearly worn “SHERIFF” images on his person.
Soon, backups arrived to help capture West. Upon incarceration in Flagler County Jail, Keel was charged with felony use of a firearm under the influence, aggravated assault on an officer, unlawful concealed carry, and misdemeanor driving under the influence. His bond was set at $25,000, and as of Friday afternoon he is still behind bars. “If it wasn’t for the de-escalation and the tactical training we gave our deputies, this idiot would be dead.” Sheriff Rick Staley said.
Camera footage of the incident is available below, courtesy of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.