Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Police search for hit-and-run driver after officer is hit by car

ST. PETERSBURG — A police officer struck by a car Monday night suffered a concussion but officials expect him to be okay.

St. Petersburg police continued to search Tuesday for the hit-and-run driver who hit Brian Prest, 41, who has been a police officer since June 2009. The driver also hit two other officers, but they were not injured.

The incident occurred after police and firefighter-paramedics answered a call to a crash at Neptune Drive and Beach Drive SE on Coquina Key, where a car had hit a pole and knocked down power lines, said police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Officers blocked off the street.

About 8:45 p.m. a silver, four-door sedan sped toward the intersection and stopped abruptly, Puetz said.

When an officer approached the male driver, he caught a strong odor of marijuana in the car.

The officer ordered the driver to turn off the car, and he complied.

But when the officer told him and his passenger to get out, they were reluctant.

Two other officers came to help.

They got the passenger out of the car, but when they opened the driver's side door, he restarted the car, hit the gas and ran into three officers with the open car door.

He also hit a fire rescue vehicle parked nearby. The driver kept going and was gone before police could give chase.

The passenger, Donald Callaway, 26, of St. Petersburg, was detained and charged with possession of marijuana, Puetz said.

Officers Scott Kirpan, 30, and Timothy Reyes, 29, were also hit by the car, but paramedics at the scene determined they weren't hurt.

Police did not release any information about the suspected hit-and-run driver.

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