A 19-year-old led authorities on a high-speed chase down Congress Avenue, all while a baby was in the backseat.

WEST PALM BEACH — An attempted traffic stop Monday evening led to a high-speed chase topping 120 mph down one of West Palm Beach’s busiest roads, all while a baby was in the backseat.


Florida Highway Patrol records trace the 3-mile pursuit starting shortly after 6 p.m. from 45th Street down Congress Avenue to Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, where 19-year-old Steve Taylor reportedly blew through a red light, crashed the stolen car he was driving and ran.


A passenger in the car ran as well, prompting state officials to call in West Palm police for help searching the busy shopping area the evening after the first day of school.


West Palm Beach police found Taylor at an apartment complex off Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, and state authorities arrested him on multiple driving-related offenses, including fleeing law enforcement, as well as charges of car theft and child neglect.


Taylor, who lives north of the Atlantis city limits, is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $78,000 bail. If released, he would be on in-house arrest, court records show.


Records indicate that four people younger than 18, one only 15-months-old, were in the stolen Nissan Altima as Taylor reportedly fled from authorities. The 15-month-old was not in a car seat, authorities noted.


It does not appear that anyone was injured in the crash.


An FHP officer first spotted the car heading east on 45th Street from Village Boulevard and noticed that the driver was not wearing a seat belt.


The officer checked the license-plate tag and learned the car had been reported stolen, so he said he tried to pull it over by Congress and 45th.


Taylor drove off, records state, and led the officer on a high-speed chase down Congress as he weaved through traffic, at times driving on the wrong side of the road. The officer said he topped 120 mph on the road with a speed limit of 40 mph.


Taylor allegedly told authorities he had been driving the Altima and admitted to running after the crash.


ohitchcock@pbpost.com


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