Authorities in Florida said a social media influencer instigated and led police on a high-speed chase on Friday, and later told officers he initiated the pursuit because he “wanted to do something fun.”
According to WFLA, the accused, identified as Damaury Mikula, is a popular social media influencer with accounts on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Mikula was said to be driving his gray Dodge Challenger when he stopped at a red light on State Road 54.
Authorities said the accused had activated his right signal and his windows were rolled down. There was also a police vehicle among the cars that had stopped in traffic, and authorities said Mikula quickly looked towards the direction of the officer in the vehicle.
Footage shows Mikula subsequently doing a “burnout” before speeding off. The traffic lights are still red at the time. Police said Mikula was “clearly showing an exhibition of speed” when he allegedly instigated the chase. The suspect reportedly reached speeds of over 100 mph.
Mikula was eventually tracked down and arrested at his home not too long after the chase. And following his arrest, police said he informed officers he’s a social media personality, adding that he makes around $400,000-$450,000 each year, WFLA reported. The accused also said he saw officers trying to pull him over, and he felt he wouldn’t have to talk to them if he sped off.
“Mr. Mikula advised his state of mind was that he is young, makes a lot of money, and has a fast car and he can do whatever he wants,” Trooper W. Kelly said. “Mr. Mikula advised he wanted to do something fun for three seconds, and it cost him.”
The accused faces a slew of charges including fleeing/eluding police with disregard of safety to persons or property, reckless driving and racing on a highway. He was released on bond on Saturday.