Sheriff: Cutler Bay biker goes 160 mph, clips deputy’s gun belt fleeing traffic stop

Christopher Petersen, 21, charged with multiple felonies, later crashed, deputies say

Christopher Petersen (MCSO)

KEY LARGO, Fla. – A Cutler Bay man faced six felony charges in the Florida Keys Sunday after authorities said he fled sheriff’s deputies after an attempted traffic stop, reaching speeds of 160 mph.

According to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrest report, a sergeant first saw Christopher Johann Petersen, 21, speeding north on the Overseas Highway, near mile marker 82 in Islamorada at around 11 a.m.

The report states that same sergeant had initially tried to stop a motorcyclist accompanying Peterson who was also riding recklessly.

Multiple deputies tried stopping Petersen at both mile marker 95 and near John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo to no avail, the report states.

Deputy Daniel Valdes wrote in the report that he then saw Petersen riding further north on County Road 905 and also tried to pull him over, but he continued to flee, reaching a top speed of 160 mph. Another deputy later saw Petersen head towards Ocean Reef, then turn around, the report states.

Valdes wrote that’s when he tried stopping Petersen again as the biker approached a three-way stop. The deputy wrote that he got out of his cruiser and drew his gun in an attempt to stop Petersen.

Petersen made eye contact with Valdes and then accelerated, clipping his gun belt with his bike, knocking his radio to the ground and destroying his taser cartridge, the report states.

Valdes and a sergeant tried to purse Petersen but were unable to catch up, according to the report. Deputies said he later crashed into a truck in front of the Circle K at 106501 Overseas Highway in Key Largo.

Petersen was hurt and taken to Baptist Health Mariners Hospital, where he told deputies he took off because he had been pulled over on Aug. 5 for driving a motorcycle without endorsement and “was scared of the precautions of being pulled over again,” Valdes wrote.

“Christopher said he knew it was wrong, but since he already made the decision to flee he knew that he had to follow through with it,” Valdes wrote. “Christopher stated he had no intentions of hitting me with the motorcycle and apologized.”

Petersen was arrested on five counts of fleeing and eluding police, one count of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, plus misdemeanor counts of hit and run, criminal mischief and operating without a license.

He’s scheduled to be arraigned in Monroe County court on Aug. 28.

About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.