PIT maneuver stopped fleeing Joseph “Adam” Tyler, who had threatened to kill himself rather than go back to prison, according to arrest affidavit.

HAINES CITY — A Bartow man making threats to shoot himself was arrested by the Polk County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, but not before he led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended with a PIT maneuver.

Joseph “Adam” Tyler, 30, was arrested on numerous felony charges at 1771 Tyner Road in Haines City.

Responding to a call of a suspect who had active warrants and was threatening to take his own life, a PCSO deputy tried to make contact with Tyler at the Sunoco gas station at the intersection of Thornhill Road and K-Ville Road in Auburndale.

But Tyler allegedly ignored the deputy and put his 2007 Nissan Altima in reverse, driving the opposite direction. Barreling through multiple intersections as deputies pursued him, a deputy used the PIT (pursuit intervention technique) to stop the vehicle.

Betsy Buxton saw the speeding car at the corner of Avenue H and 10th Street NE right in front of the administration building of Polk State College in Winter Haven.

“I was making dinner, saw it through my windows, then opened my front door and stood on my screened front porch to see what was going on,” she told The Ledger. “He went right by my house. Heard him squeal tires, turning corner, heard chopper, then came the unmarked car."

According to Tyler's arrest affidavit, he told his ex-girlfriend that he wasn't going back to prison and he would shoot and kill any law enforcement officer who tried to arrest him. Deputies reported he had active warrants for armed trafficking in amphetamines, grand theft auto, possession of a firearm by convicted felon, drug charges and a history of domestic violence battery convictions.

He now faces felony charges of fleeing to elude, possession of methamphetamine, burglary of an occupied structure, grand theft, robbery by sudden snatching, plus a number of misdemeanor charges.

Deputies reported when Tyler was booked in to the Polk County Jail, he said, “If the car would not have stalled, I would have kept going. I just filled the car up with gas.”

Tyler told deputies he fled from the gas station because he was afraid and panicked at the sight of law enforcement, according to his arrest affidavit.

He also said he did not know who the baggie of methamphetamines on the floorboard of his car belonged to, and did not know his driver's license was suspended, either.

Kathy Leigh Berkowitz can be reached at kberkowitz@theledger.com or at 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @kberkowitzthel1.