After hand gesture, things got worse

Published May 15, 2007

SPRING HILL - A motorcyclist's rude hand gesture toward a Hernando deputy started a chase Sunday afternoon that ended in the back aisles of a nearby grocery store.

Deputy Dustin Mormando clocked Mario Monteleone, 52, of Masaryktown driving 58 mph in a 45 mph zone on Spring Hill Drive, according to an arrest report.

The deputy turned around and flipped on his cruiser's lights.

Monteleone spun his Harley-Davidson around to face the deputy's cruiser.

Monteleone gave the deputy "a gesture with his left hand, " according to reports, and took off in the opposite direction.

The deputy chased Monteleone at speeds topping 80 mph.

The biker eluded the deputy, but he didn't go far.

A passer-by told the deputy that Monteleone entered the Mariner Village shopping center and somehow wrecked his motorcycle in the parking lot. He then ran inside the Winn-Dixie. The deputy found Monteleone walking in the back of the store.

As for Monteleone's gesture to the deputy, Hernando County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Donna Black described it this way: "He wasn't waving with all five fingers."