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Deputy looks into back seat, sees suspect pointing gun at him

A sheriff's deputy is "scared and shocked'' when a handcuffed 18-year-old in the back of a patrol car produces a gun. No one was hurt.

By RYAN DAVIS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 10, 2002


LAND O'LAKES -- Pasco County sheriff's deputy Marc Petrucelli thought he was about to be shot, he said.

"(I) was scared and shocked," the 25-year-old deputy wrote Saturday morning in an official report.

He arrested an 18-year-old early Saturday morning during a routine roadside stop at Carpenter's Run and State Road 54, according to the report. He put the teenager in the back of his patrol car and headed for the county jail on U.S. 41 near Gowers Corner.

He didn't know the teen had a gun.

On the way to jail, Petrucelli looked to his back seat. Jarrod Charles Bergeron had wiggled his cuffed hands from behind his back onto his lap, pulled a loaded handgun from his underwear and pointed it at Petrucelli.

"That's when he stopped his vehicle and pulled his weapon on the suspect," said a sheriff's spokesman.

Doll said that "in a matter of seconds" Bergeron dropped his gun and back up patrols arrived to assist Petrucelli.

Bergeron, of 19033 Dove Road in Land O'Lakes, was booked into county jail Saturday at 10:15 a.m. Doll would not comment on whether the Sheriff's Office was going to investigate the incident.

Petrucelli was hired in July 2000.

He and Bergeron first crossed paths about 4:50 a.m. The deputy's report describes the incident as follows:

Bergeron was driving his red 1995 Pontiac Firebird erratically as he headed east on SR 54. A 14-year-old girl was sitting in the front seat.

When Petrucelli stopped the car, he found at Bergeron's feet an open bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a tangy alcoholic drink. He also found a bag of marijuana in Bergeron's left pants pocket.

He talked to Bergeron and the girl and learned that they had sex on two separate occasions in Pasco County.

He arrested Bergeron and searched him. He twiced asked the teen if he had any weapons. Both times Bergeron said no.

Petrucelli didn't find the 9mm Makarov handgun tucked inside the 18-year-old's underwear. The first time Petrucelli saw the gun, it was pointed at him.

No one was injured in the incident, Doll said.

Petrucelli determined the gun was recently stolen from a Pasco home.

The 14-year-old's mother said she supports prosecuting Bergeron after deputies told her that Bergeron had consensual sex with her daughter, the report states.

Bergeron faces charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, carrying a concealed weapon, performing lewd and lascivious acts, having a firearm during a criminal offense, evidence of theft/possession of stolen property, possession of marijuana and underage possession of an alcoholic beverage, deputies said.

He was being held at the jail in lieu of $211,000 bail.

-- Ryan Davis is the police reporter in Pasco County. He can be reached in west Pasco at 869-6245, or toll free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6245. His e-mail address is rdavis@sptimes.com.

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