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Motorcycle deputy injured at Bikes for Badges ride in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A Polk County deputy sheriff was injured in a motorcycle crash Sunday while assisting a charity event for slain police officers in St. Petersburg.

While escorting participants riding in the event, Deputy Steven Neil of Winter Haven rode with his emergency lights running along the 3300 block of First Avenue S about 11:20 a.m.

Another motorcyclist, Michael C. Girard, 32, of Brooksville changed lanes in front of the deputy's cycle, witnesses told police. Neil, 40, hit his brakes but still made contact with Girard's motorcycle — sending Neil's cycle skidding, police said.

Neil, who was wearing a helmet, was in stable condition at Bayfront Medical Center, Polk Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Donna Wood said. The nature of his injuries was not released.

Girard wasn't injured.

Charges are pending further investigation by city police.

Neil was among five Polk deputies assisting in the fundraiser, Wood said. Radio personality Bubba the Love Sponge organized the Bikes for Badges fundraiser for slain officers.

The event, which included a motorcycle ride around the city, provides donations for the families of slain officers.

St. Petersburg Officers David S. Crawford, Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger were killed in the line of duty this year.

Motorcycle deputy injured at Bikes for Badges ride in St. Petersburg 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 9:58pm]

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