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Charges pile up for driver who fled police in Tampa, crashed into cop

TAMPA — More than a month after he T-boned a police sergeant's vehicle while running from a traffic stop, a driver has been arrested on additional charges, Tampa detectives say.

Desmond Smith, 25, of 4309 Mariners Cove Court, Apt. 304, was charged with three counts of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, three counts of reckless driving, two counts of driving under the influence with property damage and two counts of reckless driving.

Blood samples taken four hours after the crash and analyzed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement showed that Smith had enough marijuana in his system to impair him at the time of the crash, according to Tampa police.

Officers said at 3:30 a.m. Sept. 4, Sgt. Robert Nassief, 53, responded to a fellow officer's report of a fleeing silver Ford Expedition near Hillsborough Avenue and N 43rd Street.

Nassief was eastbound on Hanna Avenue when the silver Expedition ran a stop sign on N 39th Street and hit the driver's side of the police cruiser, Tampa police say. Nassief and Smith's two passengers were injured, police say.

The sergeant was cut out of the vehicle and taken to Tampa General Hospital in serious condition. Tampa police said Tuesday that he is still recovering and has not returned to work.

Smith initially was charged with aggravated fleeing or eluding and driving with a suspended license. He also was cited for running a stop sign.

A warrant was issued for Smith Tuesday afternoon on the more serious charges and officers caught up with him at 3 p.m. in 7901 Holly Lee Circle. Police said he tried to run out a back door but an officer was waiting.

He was held in the Hillsborough County Jail in lieu of $75,007 bail.

Charges pile up for driver who fled police in Tampa, crashed into cop 10/11/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 8:39am]
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