tampabay.com

Man injured as car barrels into bus stop

Tampa police say the Cadillac was stolen, and the driver faces charges.

By REBECCA CATALANELLO
Published February 7, 2007


TAMPA - Rose Mains was just about to offer the shivering man at the bus stop a bite of her burger when she saw a dark-colored Cadillac barreling toward him.

Lee Maxwell, 63, was sitting on a HARTLine bus stop bench just before midnight when the driver of a stolen car lost control on N Florida Avenue south of W Waters Avenue and smashed into the bus shelter, leaving Maxwell sprawled on his back, covered in shattered glass.

Police had been tracking the Cadillac since it failed to pull over for a traffic stop at N 22nd Street and E Osborne Avenue, according to a Tampa police report. Several police cruisers raced toward the scene of the crash, though Tampa police are not classifying the incident as a pursuit.

A helicopter tracked the car's movements, relaying its location to officers on the ground, Tampa police Officer Lisa Parashis said. Driver David G. Hurd, 47, pulled into a driveway at 306 W Giddens Ave. in an attempt to hide from police. When an officer tried to box him in, he drove toward the police cruiser, and the officer backed away, the report said.

As Hurd continued to flee police, he lost control in the 8300 block of N Florida Avenue. That's when Mains yelled to Maxwell.

"I said, 'Hurry and move! The car's coming this way!' " Mains, 47, recalled after Tuesday's crash. She was still clutching the wrapped hamburger she had planned to offer him. "He didn't even know what happened."

Maxwell was taken to Tampa General Hospital. Spokeswoman Ellen Fiss said he was in good condition Tuesday afternoon.

Hurd, who has no known address, according to jail records, ran from the car, but officers caught up with him nearby. He is charged with fleeing to elude police, driving recklessly, driving with a suspended license, cocaine possession, obstructing or opposing an officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, grand theft motor vehicle, burglary of a conveyance and leaving the scene of a crash with injury.

Parashis said police think he stole the 1998 Cadillac late Friday or early Saturday after breaking into a residence at 8433 N Highland Ave. and taking the keys.