Skip to content

Tampa influencer inspires deadly “Sun Drive” challenge

Sunset Skyway Bridge – Petersburg – Sunday, 4.21.2019

Spencer Wellington, AKA “Peter Vega,” on social media, has influenced a deadly local trend going around the Bay Area. The kids are calling it “The Sun Drive Challenge,” which is where you drive a car and try to stare at the sun as long as you can while driving.

“It’s extremely dangerous,” said police officer, Ricky Williams, former running back for the Miami Dolphins. “Young children, are driving their parents cars without their permission, and also staring into the sun without any eye-protection, ‘for the gram,’ as the kids call it, and kids are crashing their cars and dying, and this is a very serious subject. Peter Vega needs to be held accountable for what he’s started.” Ricky runs to the other end of the press conference room very fast.

We reached out to Peter, AKA Spencer, through the intercom at the gate out in front of his mansion. He didn’t answer our calls, however. So we jumped the fence and went to talk to Petey V ourselves. We kicked the back door by the pool down. “We want to talk!” I shouted, but there was no response.

It’s a big house, and nobody was in it; very quiet, very creepy. We felt like we’d done something wrong breaking into someone’s house, but for some reason we didn’t care and we kept walking around looking at stuff, picking things up. We opened a secret closet door that we heard music playing behind. We fell down a short flight of steps, and there was Peter Vega, wearing some headphones and a VR headset.

“Oh my God, it’s him!” I said to my journalist partner. He nodded his head in agreement.

“Peter!” I said. He jolted back, and frantically chucked his headset to the ground.

“What the hell, how did you get in here!” He shouted.

“We jumped the fence!” I yelled. “We came to know why you did the ’sun-drive’ challenge, and do you understand the consequences of what a dangerous trend like that can do.”

He listened politely to a list of reasons why social-media influencers need to be more conscious of their actions because they influence children at their most vulnerable, and their actions could potentially affect a child’s entire life.

He totally got it and felt bad! And he was also actually kind of funny. Like as a person, his personality is really funny and his energy is contagious. He offered me tea! I’m like, “Whoa, nobody ever offers me tea!” We became instant friends.

He agreed to help shoot some videos for TNF. We chatted for about 20 minutes, he gave me his phone number, and I left his estate. As I made my way to the news van, police were already waiting for me there.

“Breaking and entering is illegal Jacobs, you already know this,” said officer Portalino, a man of the law I’ve encountered dozens of times due to my line of work.

“I know Portalino.” I said.

Portalino pulled down his shades and laughed.

“You want to know the funniest part about this one though?” He asked.

“Sure.” I said.

“Spencer tipped me off.” He pointed to Vega’s estate behind me.

“What?” I stuttered.

“Yea, while you guys thought you were having buddy-buddy time, he had me on speaker phone listening to the whole thing. You can’t just break into a guys house man, you know that! Now come here and let me cuff you.” I reluctantly walked to the hood of the news van where Portalino laid me out and cuffed me.
As my face was pressed against the hood of the van, I saw Vega watching me get arrested from the window smiling and mouthing the words, “Long live the sun-drive challenge.” Which, even though he was currently having me arrested, was still pretty funny in the moment, and I wasn’t mad at him for it. Again, he was a cool guy, and even though he had me arrested, I would probably hang out with him again.

Sometimes you just meet those people you know? Where it’s like, they may not be the best person, but I didn’t have a bad time in their company? Was it the best time? I don’t know. But it was fun. I think? Exciting? Different? They possess a star quality, that can only be transcribed eternally in the pixels projected from our social-media machines. 

Peter Vega went on to make 65 million dollars that year, while I rotted in prison. And trust me when I tell you, when the inmates learned I was in there for breaking into Peter Vega’s house, they less-than took-it-easy on me. In fact it was quite the opposite. They took it hard on me. All the time. And I mean, all the time. No sleep for this inmate. I was doing hard time while Vega lounged in his mansion and inspired more young children to potentially risk their lives for clout and entertainment. But he did have abs and it was very impressive, plus his personality totally shined, and it was obvious most of the time.

John Jacobs

About John Jacobs

MTV Reality TV Star and Award-Winning Tampa News Force Correspondent. Subscribe to YouTube Channel, Follow on Twitter: @MaybachDiamonds Instagram: @MaybachDiamonds