Driver leads deputy on chase, then crashes

Published February 19, 2007

ZEPHYRHILLS - A 22-year-old woman led a Pasco sheriff's deputy on a five-minute, 5-mile pursuit before crashing into a Chevrolet Tahoe driven by the wife of a Polk sheriff's deputy.

No one was injured in the accident, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.

Deputies charged Stephanie Dasinger with attempted fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, driving with a suspended license and leaving the scene of an accident, authorities said.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the pursuit began when Deputy Ryan O'Neal, who knew Dasinger had a suspended driver's license, saw her driving in the Crystal Springs area just before 3 p.m.

Without activating his lights or sirens, he followed her. But Dasinger turned around, came back toward O'Neal's vehicle and "swerved at him in an attempt to ram him," the Sheriff's Office said. O'Neal swerved off the road, turned around at Crystal Springs Road and began pursuit. He reported speeds as high as 58 mph.

Dasinger then ran a red light at State Road 54 and Chancey Road Bypass, hitting the Tahoe, the Sheriff's Office said.

She ran off but was caught by O'Neal, the Sheriff's Office said.

The Florida Highway Patrol will handle the case. The Sheriff's Office will also perform a routine internal investigation into the pursuit.