Sheriff: Man pulled knife in drive-through
By JAMIE MALERNEE
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 24, 2001
SPRING HILL -- A customer in the Eckerd pharmacy drive-through was taking too long.
So, according to sheriff's deputies, Donald Olive Cohen got angry Wednesday, pulled out his knife and threatened to use it if the customer didn't hurry up, authorities say.
Now Cohen, 36, faces multiple charges after officials say he sped off from the Eckerd at the intersection of Spring Hill Drive and Mariner Boulevard and led deputies on a two-county chase just after 2 p.m..
According to sheriff's Lt. Joe Paez, this is what happened:
Cohen, whose address in unknown, threatened a man with a knife at the drive-through, and then took off. The man, whose name officials did not release, followed him and called for help on his mobile phone.
Deputies spotted Cohen in his green truck near of Elgin and Mariner boulevards. He sped away and led them on a chase through residential streets and back onto Northcliffe Boulevard, headed toward Deltona Boulevard. A deputy tried to stop him by throwing a device on the road designed to puncture tires. Cohen avoided it, pointing his truck toward a deputy instead. The deputy was able to get out of the way in time, and Cohen drove on.
Deputies broke the pursuit off after 10 minutes. It was clear that this man wasn't going to slow down, and the risk wasn't worth it, Paez said.
"We were endangering too many lives," he said.
Hernando deputies then radioed Pasco County authorities to let them know Cohen was headed their way. Minutes later, Pasco deputies spotted him on U.S. 19, running a traffic light. They followed him at slow speeds as he turned onto Hudson Avenue. A mile from U.S. 19, with patrol cars surrounding him, he pulled over. He told Pasco authorities he had fled Hernando because someone had been shot. He did not resist further.
Both Pasco and Hernando investigators say there was no shooting. Cohen was arrested on charges of fleeing and eluding Pasco officials and running a traffic light. Hernando authorities are still investigating.
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