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Police car runs into sitting teen

The Clearwater officer had the teen sit on a curb after another accident skateboarding with a car.

Published May 30, 2005

CLEARWATER - After ordering a teenage boy to sit on a curb, a Clearwater police officer got in his car Sunday afternoon and accidentally hit him with a cruiser.

The boy was flown to Bayfront Medical Center as a precaution but will be fine, police said. The injured boy's name was not released by authorities.

The situation evolved after another teen was injured while "skitching," holding on to the back of a car while riding a skateboard.

Kevin Atkinson, 16, said he was driving his Mercury Mystique about 25 mph on Fairwood Avenue with two teens in tow.

When one boy fell off his board, Atkinson stopped.

"I was scared out of my mind," he said.

Officer Timothy Downes was right behind them.

As an ambulance was called to help the boy who had fallen, Atkinson said, Downes told him and the uninjured teen to sit on a curb by the Park Trace apartment complex.

Atkinson said he got up to give Downes his driver's license and remained standing. His friend remained seated with his legs crossed.

When Downes got in his car to leave, he drove into the seated boy, Atkinson said.

He said the boy was talking to paramedics who had come to treat the boy who fell.

"By then I'm bawling," Atkinson said. "I'm punching the ground like beyond crazy."

Two Pinellas County forensic trucks were at the scene which was blocked off to traffic.

Atkinson was told by police both his friends would be okay but his father said the teen's in trouble.

"It's a damn shame he's losing his car for it," the father Ben Atkinson said.

As for skitching?

"That'll be the end of that," Kevin Atkinson said. "There is no more skitching in my dictionary."

[Last modified May 30, 2005, 01:38:11]

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