Surveillance video released in North Fort Myers high-speed chase, crash

New surveillance video has been released in a destructive, high-speed chase in North Fort Myers.

Wednesday, Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested suspect Jesse James Peterson, 34, after being accused of leading deputies down a stretch of U.S. 41 in a high-speed chase while two young children were in the back of an SUV he was driving.

Lee County deputies noticed the SUV Peterson drove was swerving in traffic. When deputies attempted a traffic stop, Peterson led the deputies on a high-speed chase before hitting a deputy vehicle and ending up in a ditch.

Deputies say Peterson used one of the children as a shield while he resisted arrest. Deputies also found drugs and a handgun in the SUV.

“I just couldn’t believe that anyone would have babies in their car and be driving so erratically and speeding at such a high rate of speed,” said Rachel Allen, who was a witness to the scene in North Fort Myers.

New surveillance video shows the SUV driving along a sidewalk before ending up in a ditch. Some of the remnants of the crash remain at the scene, including a bumper from the SUV.

LCSO says Peterson is a career criminal. He has been arrested 20 times in Lee County.

Peterson is in Lee County Jail with bond set at more than $200,000.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.