Clearwater Police arrested a man on Thursday after he drove on the beach from Clearwater to Caladesi Island and streamed it on Facebook Live.
Police say that the first call came in at 4:26 p.m. about a possible drunk driver at U.S. 19 and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard; the initial caller was watching Stiles on a Facebook Live broadcast. Police say that one call came in to the communications center from as far away as California.
Stiles drove west to Clearwater Beach and entered the beach area at the dead end of Papaya Street at 4:41 p.m.
He was reported to have plowed over chairs and umbrellas.
These are some of the chairs the suspect drove through on north beach at the end of Bohemia. Thankfully, no injuries. pic.twitter.com/jdsmprhGe3
— @myclearwaterPD (@myclearwaterPD) July 20, 2017
A Facebook Live video obtained by ABC Action News from 27-year-old Ryan Stiles' profile shows him driving a Jeep and drinking what appears to be liquor. The video shows he also came close to hitting several beach goers.
While on Memorial Causeway, Stiles struck a vehicle east of Island Way, causing minor damage but no injuries, according to police.
Police say it could have been a lot worse, given how crowded the beaches can be, but that it was fortunate Stiles stayed close to the dunes rather than the water.
"We were very, extremely fortunate that we didn't lose any officers, nor did we lose any civilians," said Deputy Chief Donald Hall.
Police sirens can be heard in the video. Police say they followed him for about nine minutes before he was taken into custody at the north tip of Caladesi Island.
— Ryan Smith (@RyanReports) July 20, 2017
"It was nuts," said Jeff Vance, who is vacationing with his family from Tennessee. "We had a couple of little girls with us and they were scared half to death."
Norm and Jackie Livingston were laying out on the beach with their 11-year-old daughter when they heard the SUV speeding across the sand. The family's quiet beach day quickly turned chaotic.
"Absolutely put hundreds and hundreds of people in danger," said Norm Livingston.
Police tried to pull Stiles over after someone reported him streaming his drive on Facebook Live, threatening that he wanted to "take out" a Clearwater police cruiser.
Action Air 1 flew over the scene shortly after the arrest.
Police tell ABC Action News, Stiles has a criminal history including driving under the influence and resisting arrest.
Late Thursday night, CPD tweeted a picture of broken glass, saying Stiles became enraged and used his belt to shatter the glass on the door of his holding cell.
The reckless driver was also reckless in our holding.cell. He took off his belt and swung it around and shattered the glass in the door. pic.twitter.com/9DawwGsGfV
— @myclearwaterPD (@myclearwaterPD) July 21, 2017
Clearwater Police say that while in police custody he refused a breath test.
So far, Stiles has been charged by the Clearwater Police Department with reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, DUI, driving with a suspended license, hit and run with property damage, felony criminal mischief and threatening a public servant.
"Other charges may be forthcoming for his jaunt into Caladesi Island," Clearwater police added in a post on Facebook.
Stiles will have his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Pinellas County Jail.