When cops tried to stop him for speeding, this Florida man made a fatal decision

Sebastien Daniel Antoine
Sebastien Daniel Antoine Manatee County Sheriff's Office

When a sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a Bradenton man for speeding down 26th Street West in Bradenton, he instead sped off into a 6-way intersection, lost control of the car and crashed into a tree, killing himself and his passenger.

Sebastien Daniel Antoine, 23, died at the scene of the crash. His passenger, Rufus Lee Adams IV, 20, of Bradenton, was rushed to Manatee Memorial Hospital where he died shortly after.

Antoine had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear in court at the time. Inside the car, deputies said they found marijuana and scales. Adams was found in possession of a white powdery substance that has not yet been tested but it was believed to be cocaine, the sheriff’s office said.

Fatal crash.jpg
Driver Sebastien Daniel Antoine died at the scene of this crash. His passenger, Rufus Lee Adams IV, was rushed to Manatee Memorial Hospital where he died shortly after. Samantha Putterman sputterman@bradenton.com

At about 7:40 p.m. Thursday, Antoine was clocked driving 51 mph in 30 mph zone while heading north in the 2600 block of 26th Street West, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy. The deputy attempted to pull Antoine over just after he turned east onto 18th Avenue West, but instead Antoine raced off.

When Antoine reached the next intersection, a six-way stop, he lost control of the car and crashed into a tree.

“This happened in a matter of seconds,” sheriff’s office spokesman Dave Bristow said on Friday morning.

Antoine is believed to have been driving about 80 mph at the time of the crash, which is now under investigation by the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit.

“Six-way stops are difficult as it is,” Bristow said. “Then you have somebody coming through there at such high-speed. It’s a tragedy that two people died but it is fortunate that no one else what hurt.”

Less than three months ago, Antoine was arrested after a traffic stop and charged with possession of marijuana and driving with a revoked driver’s license.

On June 14, a deputy spotted Antoine driving south in the 3300 block of 15th Street East with a headlight that was out. When the deputy approached the car, Antoine and his brother were acting nervously, according to arrest reports. The deputy spotted the suspected marijuana and another deputy reported smelling burning marijuana.

During a search of Antoine’s car, deputies found two marijuana blunts that Antoine later told deputies were his, according to the report. A .32-caliber pistol was also found during the search of the car, but he was not facing any related charges.

In April 2016, Antoine was placed on probation for two years after taking a plea deal for charges of fraudulently obtaining money from a pawn broker and battery on a law enforcement officer. He later ordered to serve six months in September 2016 after he violated his probation.

Antoine had a bench warrant for his arrest at the time of his death, for failing to appear for a scheduled court hearing in Sarasota last month in case which he was facing three misdemeanor counts of making harassing phone calls.

According to court records, Antoine began harassing staff at Morgan and Morgan law office in Sarasota after he became angry when they dropped him as a client in a pending lawsuit for failing to be cooperative. Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office say Antoine told the receptionist he wasn’t afraid to find out where the victim or his case manager lived and that he “wasn’t afraid to come down there and shoot out some knee caps.”

Follow Jessica De Leon on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.