BY MEGAN HOYE | STAFF WRITER, Palm Coast Observer
A Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop April 5 on a red Buick, driven by Ormond Beach’s Donovan Ruiter, because of the vehicle’s inoperable tag lights.
But the car didn’t stop.
Instead, a passenger, later identified as 19-year-old Michael Scarpa, of Palm Coast, started throwing clumps of marijuana out of the Buick’s window. The clumps bounced against the deputy’s windshield.
At that time, the deputy activated his siren, but the Buick still didn’t stop, driving at about 50 mph, according to a charging affidavit.
As he pursued the car, the deputy shone his spotlight through the rear window so he could watch Scarpa disposing of the marijuana. A third passenger, whose name was redacted from an arrest report, sat in the backseat, glancing back at the car repeatedly.
Ruiter traveled about a mile from when the deputy first attempted the stop, then he pulled over.
The deputy withdrew his gun and ordered the vehicle’s occupants to keep their hands in the air as he approached. He went to the front passenger seat, where Scarpa was sitting, and ordered him out of the Buick and onto the ground.
During a search of Ruiter, the deputy also found a clear, plastic baggie containing 7.9 grams of cannabis in his pants.
The passenger later told police that Scarpa had thrown 28 grams marijuana out the window. Scarpa denied all allegations.
Ruiter was placed under arrest for fleeing and eluding, as well as for possession of cannabis under 20 grams. Scarpa was arrested for tampering or destroying evidence and possession of cannabis under 20 grams.
After arriving at the Flagler County Inmate Facility, a deputy asked Ruiter if he had any other narcotics or weapons on his person, advising that if he brought them into the jail, it would constitute a felony. Ruiter said he did not, but during the intake, a deputy located a small, pink baggie with cannabis residue in it in a hidden Velcro compartment in Ruiter’s right shoe. Inside Ruiter’s right pants pocket was a clear baggie containing under a gram of cannabis.
Ruiter was additionally charged with introduction of contraband into a detention facility.
He remained in jail Monday, on $2,500 bail. Scarpa remained in jail on $1,500 bail.