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In one hour, man runs up 11 charges

With one crime after another, documents show, James Rabe kept authorities busy Wednesday.

By CAMILLE C. SPENCER
Published March 30, 2007


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James Rabe got himself in a load of trouble on Wednesday.

By nightfall, Rabe, a 30-year-old from Largo who also goes by James Sychowski and has a history of run-ins with the law, had stolen a deputy's patrol car, impersonated a police officer, pointed a gun at a group of people and was jolted by a Taser, according to authorities.

Authorities are still piecing together what happened, but this is what they know, according to documents released Thursday:

About 9:40 p.m., Rabe, who was driving a silver Cadillac Deville, got into an argument with four people in a gray Eagle Talon at a BP gas station on U.S. 19. Then, both cars continued driving.

Rabe pointed a black semiautomatic gun at the Talon's passengers and told the driver, Robert McElhattan, to keep driving.

McElhattan and his friends ended up at 2112 Roselawn Drive. Rabe showed up shortly afterward. While the group was in the front yard, Rabe drove by slowly and pointed a gun at them.

McElhattan called authorities. Soon after, Pasco Sgt. Roy Haynes arrived at the scene and pulled Rabe over.

It's unclear how, but Rabe took control of Haynes' patrol car.

As Rabe tried to take off, Haynes clung to the car and was dragged about 15 feet. Haynes suffered minor injuries.

Rabe drove off in the patrol car, leaving his Cadillac behind.

He turned on the emergency lights, cut in front of a black Ford Ranger and stopped in the middle of Elena Drive and Bahia Avenue, blocking the truck.

Rabe got out of the patrol car and asked the truck's driver to get out. He then commandeered the truck and fled south on Bahia Avenue.

By then, Pasco deputies alerted other agencies to Rabe's actions. Port Richey police Officer Billy Cabiness saw the Ford Ranger on Ridge Road and turned on his siren near Leo Kidd Avenue.

But Rabe didn't pull over. He came out onto U.S. 19 and headed south.

The officers threw out stop sticks. Rabe ran over them and came to a stop at U.S. 19 and Charlene Lane.

Rabe got out of the truck. He refused a New Port Richey police officer's commands to get on the ground. Then, he took off running.

The officer caught up with Rabe and blasted him with a Taser.

An hour after it all began, Rabe was taken into custody at 10:45 p.m.

He faces four counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, grand theft of a law enforcement officer's vehicle, carjacking, impersonation of a law enforcement officer, grand theft auto, fleeing to elude and resisting arrest without violence.

He is being held in lieu of $85,500 bail at the Land O'Lakes jail.

Rabe, of 231 23rd Ave. SW in Largo, has charges dating back to 1994 from various law enforcement agencies. They include fraud, larceny, fleeing and eluding, and soliciting for prostitution.

Authorities say the patrol car and the Ford Ranger weren't the only vehicles Rabe drove that didn't belong to him.

The Cadillac Deville was stolen, too.

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[Last modified March 29, 2007, 23:59:17]


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