Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

One dead in crash during police pursuit in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — One person was killed Thursday night after a car crashed into a tree during a police pursuit.

The crash occurred about 8:15 p.m. on 15th Avenue near 39th Street S. One person died at the scene and a second was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with traumatic injuries.

Police were pursuing the car because officers believed the people inside were responsible for an armed robbery earlier in the night at a Family Dollar, 1720 16th St. N.

A customer at the store called police about 8 p.m. to report that two people were robbing the clerk and a shot had been fired. Officers responded to the store and got a description of a get-away car.

About 10 minutes later, undercover detectives saw the car in the area of Fifth Avenue and 28th Street S. A marked cruiser tried to pull over the car in the area of Sixth Avenue and 44th Street S, but the driver sped away.

Police supervisors authorized the officer to pursue the suspects. The car crashed into a tree a short time later.

The impact caused massive damage to the car and the two occupants were trapped inside. Firefighters extricated them both.

Police said they found a gun in the car that matches a description of the gun used in the robbery.

Some people in the neighborhood were upset that police chased the suspects.

"Too many people get hurt from these police chases," said Octavia Taylor, 38, who heard the impact of the crash. "If somebody did a crime, you should catch them a different way."

Not everyone agreed.

"When people do wrong, you should catch the criminal," said Darryl Gaines, 21. "That goes for any neighborhood. They were doing their job."

St. Petersburg at one point had a restrictive pursuit policy that allowed officers to chase only people they suspected in violent crimes. The guidelines were loosened in 2010 to allow officers to chase suspects in lesser crimes such as burglary and auto theft.

A pursuit of suspects in an armed robbery would have been allowed under the old policy.

One dead in crash during police pursuit in St. Petersburg 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. What to expect from the Florida Orchestra's 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' show

    Events

    With just a few short tings from the celesta, a small piano-style instrument, and you're instantly transported to Harry Potter's wizarding world.

    Courtesy of the Straz Center
  2. Police: Boy, 12, burglarized Melrose Elementary during Hurricane Irma

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 12-year-old boy is facing a felony charge after police say he burglarized Melrose Elementary while the school was closed for Hurricane Irma.

    Melrose Elementary at 1752 13th Ave. S in St. Petersburg was burglarized while the school was closed for Hurricane Irma. A 12-year-old boy has been charged, police said. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  3. How Jameis Winston's turnovers doomed the Bucs again

    Bucs

    The Bucs' rise or fall is based on the play of quarterback Jameis Winston. His failure to take care of the football was arguably the biggest factor in their 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday.

    Jameis Winston has turned the football over 25 times in 17 road games. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
  4. Wrenching photos show hurricane battered Puerto Rico on brink of crisis

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after Hurricane Maria knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló said the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis" and it was up to Congress to …

    Residents bathe in a natural spring in the hill town of Toa Alta, Puerto Rica, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. As life in Puerto Rico grinds on nearly a week after the Category 4 storm knocked out all the power, most of the water and left people waiting in excruciating lines for fuel, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said Monday that the island was on the brink of a "humanitarian crisis." [Victor J. Blue | New York Times]
  5. New 'Game of Thrones' concert experience coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

    Blogs

    More music is coming.

    A new, live Game of Thrones concert experience is coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sept. 21, 2018, the venue announced today. That may seem like a long way off, but with no new season on HBO's immediate horizon, that's probably the next taste of Game of Thrones you're going to get for a …