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Barricaded suspect shot by SWAT officer in Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Police Sgt. Scott Golczewski knew where to go as soon as he heard the report that a man had just robbed a Dunkin' Donuts and left in a van.

He had encountered a man fitting the description earlier Tuesday morning outside an apartment and later at the same Dunkin' Donuts shop.

Which is why he and two other police officers were waiting for Jamie Scott Miller when he returned home after the robbery, police said.

But Miller, 38, did not give up easily. He tried to run down one of the officers with the van, police said, and was shot after he barricaded himself inside his apartment.

Miller, who has been arrested at least 14 times in Florida, underwent surgery at Bayfront Medical Center and is expected to remain in the hospital a few days, said Pinellas Park police Capt. Sanfield Forseth. He faces numerous charges, including strong-armed robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Police gave the following account:

About 1:50 a.m. Tuesday, Miller demanded money from a cashier at a Dunkin' Donuts at 7315 U.S. 19, implying he had a weapon. He took off with about $200 in a 1997 Dodge van.

The cashier called 911 with a description of the robber and the van. Golczewski, a 41-year-old patrol supervisor with 15 years at the Pinellas Park Police Department, recognized the description.

Golczewski had been patrolling the area earlier when Miller asked for gas money. Golczewski said no and watched Miller walk toward an apartment at 3450 Applewood Ter. and leave in gray van with a noisy fan belt. Later, Golczewski had been patrolling through the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot when he saw Miller standing at the counter.

So Golczewski headed back to the apartment, along with Officers Tim Jandola and Matthew Patsch.

When Miller arrived in the van, the officers told him to stop. Instead, he accelerated at Jandola, forcing him to jump out of the way. Patsch and Golczewski opened fire, hitting the van but missing Miller, who drove off.

Miller circled the neighborhood but soon returned to the apartment, avoided the police and barricaded himself inside.

The SWAT team was called. About 4 a.m., an undercover SWAT team officer was disabling surveillance cameras near the apartment windows when he saw Miller crouching near a doorway.

He told Miller to put his hands up. Instead, Miller reached for something. Fearing he was going for a gun, the officer shot Miller in the upper torso.

Police found two other people inside who were not involved in the robbery. Roommate Larry Michael Paul, 27, was arrested on outstanding drug charges. A 15-year-old runaway girl was reunited with her parents.

Neighbors were evacuated from their homes during the standoff.

Investigators collect evidence outside an apartment at 3450 Applewood Ter. in Pinellas Park after Jamie Scott Miller was shot Tuesday. Miller is accused of robbing a Dunkin’ Donuts.

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times

Investigators collect evidence outside an apartment at 3450 Applewood Ter. in Pinellas Park after Jamie Scott Miller was shot Tuesday. Miller is accused of robbing a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Barricaded suspect shot by SWAT officer in Pinellas Park 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 10:20pm]
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