15-year-old arrested after car chase, crash
By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published December 6, 2006
TAMPA - A 15-year-old was arrested and a deputy slightly injured after a sheriff's pursuit ended in a three-car crash Tuesday.
Deputy Hugh Alter attempted to pull over a 15-year-old driver shortly before 3 p.m., when he noticed him behind the wheel of a Honda bearing improper tags at Preserve Apartments on Himes Avenue.
Instead of stopping, the teenager fled eastbound on Busch Boulevard, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Alter, 37, who has been with the Sheriff's Office 2 1/2 years, called for assistance. As he and the suspect approached Armenia Avenue, Deputy Melissa Ondrick, 32, was responding to his call and driving on the inside, eastbound lane of Busch Boulevard.
She accelerated into the intersection of Busch Boulevard and Armenia Avenue to stop traffic, Carter said, when the teenager drove over the median, got back into the roadway and lost control, hitting Ondrick's cruiser in the rear, flattening her tire.
The teenager's car flipped onto its roof and slid about 100 feet into the rear of an Altima driven by Cynthia Riddle, 49, who was uninjured and refused any medical attention. Ondrick's cruiser also slid into the side of Riddle's vehicle.
The teenager, uninjured, fled from the wreck on foot before being captured about two blocks away. He was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center, charged with leaving the scene of a crash with injury, driving without a valid license, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, and opposing an officer without violence.
Ondrick, who has been with the Sheriff's Office for 11 years, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital complaining of neck pain, Carter said.
The Sheriff's Office will review the crash and pursuit to determine if the deputies acted in compliance with standards.
[Last modified December 6, 2006, 01:12:49]
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