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Pasco in briefs

By Times staff writers

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 20, 2000


Student, 19, accused of pushing teacher

HUDSON -- A 19-year-old Hudson High school student was charged with battery on a school official after he pushed his teacher on Wednesday, Pasco County Sheriff's officials said.

According to the teacher, Laurie Fitzpatrick, Carl Aramis Quesada was verbally abusive and tried to leave the classroom at about 2:40 p.m.

Fitzpatrick told deputies that she positioned herself in the doorway and told the student not to leave.

Quesada then pushed Fitzpatrick twice and left the room.

Quesada of 16140 Blackbend Lane, Hudson, was booked into the county jail in Land O'Lakes, and was released on his own recognizance.

Police say New Port Richey man on motorcycle arrested after chase

NEW PORT RICHEY -- A 32-year-old man led police and Florida Highway Patrol troopers on an early morning chase Wednesday, crashed his motorcycle twice and had to be subdued with an officer's baton.

Craig Joseph Blanchard, of 7115 Adare Drive, New Port Richey, was charged with fleeing to elude, driving under the influence, no valid driver's license, resisting without violence, possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving.

New Port Richey police noticed that Blanchard was driving his motorcycle erratically at about 2 a.m. on Congress Street. When a sergeant tried to stop the motorcycle, it sped up and crashed on Heather Avenue.

Both Blanchard and a female passenger fell off the bike, but police said Blanchard climbed back on the bike and drove away. The passenger, whose name was not released, was treated at the scene, according to officials.

New Port Richey Police and Florida Highway Patrol officers caught up with Blanchard a few blocks away when he crashed near the intersection of Sheelin Drive and Adare Street.

Blanchard refused to surrender to police, according to a report. He stood up and got in a fighting stance, and an officer struck him three times with his baton. Another officer arrived and tackled Blanchard, then handcuffed him.

Officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Blanchard's breath, but Blanchard refused to take a blood-alcohol test. Officers say they also found marijuana in Blanchard's front pants pocket.

He was released on $9,500 bail from the county jail in Land O'Lakes on Wednesday afternoon.

Gateway Honda offers free car seat safety check Saturday morning

PORT RICHEY -- Gateway Honda will sponsor a free car seat safety check on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Certified child-restraint specialists will be at the car dealership to check the installation of the safety seats and give tips on proper positioning and installation.

Gateway Honda is at the corner of Ridge Road and U.S. 19 in Port Richey.

For information, call Sue Campbell at 514-9797.

According to information provided by Gateway Honda, about 280,000 children are injured in car crashes every year, and 35 percent of children 4 and younger ride in unprotected cars. Also, many car seats are installed incorrectly.

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