Saturday, May 26, 2018
Public safety

Woman suffers minor injuries in crash with St. Petersburg Police cruiser

ST. PETERSBURG — A St. Petersburg Police cruiser collided with a car in downtown St. Petersburg on Friday morning after the officer ran a red light, witnesses said.

The collision happened just after 9:30 a.m. at Second Avenue S and Fourth Street.

A white Chrysler 200 convertible was heading south on Fourth Street when a westbound police cruiser ran a red light on Second Avenue S, said James Green, 25, a security guard at the Tampa Bay Times building.

Officer Robert Arrison, 37, was patrolling the area for jaywalkers at the time of the collision, said St. Petersburg Police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Green was in a patrol car just behind the Chrysler at the time of the crash.

He said the woman had a green light and didn't appear to have time to react to the oncoming police cruiser.

"I kept thinking, 'Oh, he's going to stop,' but he kept on coming," Green said. "He tried to miss her at the last second, but it was too late."

The Chrysler broadsided the police car, causing front-end damage to the convertible and a dent in the side of the cruiser.

The police department is investigating whether the officer did in fact run a red light, Puetz said.

Officers and emergency medical services officials responded to the scene to treat the driver, a woman who said she was in town on business at BB&T but declined to give her name.

She suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

Arrison was uninjured in the crash. He has been with the department for 12 years.

St. Petersburg police are conducting an investigation that will determine whether this crash was preventable and if Arrison was at fault. That determination will also dictate what, if any, disciplinary action may be taken, Puetz said.

In 2011, Arrison was involved in a crash, but officials ruled it was unavoidable and not his fault, according to records.

Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8804.

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