Police arrested a Naples, Florida man identified as Jeffrey Rouse Saturday (August 15) on multiple criminal charges, including fleeing and eluding, assault and two counts of criminal mischief.
In a Facebook post, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office also named 40-year-old Rouse as the man recorded in a racist rant at a Black woman while they were both at a stop light days before his arrest.
On Friday (August 14) evening, deputies chased Rouse after their radar detected him driving more than 100 mph. Deputies terminated the pursuit for the safety of other drivers in the area. Officers took him into custody the following morning at his residence.
Detectives with the sheriff’s office said someone took photos of Rouse defacing two political signs on Aug. 8. When Rouse realized that someone photographed him, he hurled racial insults at the person and threatened to hurt them. One of the defaced signs also included a racial slur.
In the viral video, Rouse repeatedly calls the woman the N-word and tells her that Black life doesn’t matter.
The police are requesting a hate crime enhancement from the State Attorney’s Office.
“Florida’s Hate Crime statute upgrades the offense level and the punishment when a crime is proven by evidence to have been committed because of the victim’s race, color, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, homeless status, or advanced age,” the sheriff’s statement said.
Detectives said they are still investigating the incident at the stoplight.
Photo by @mishouuu__ via Twitter