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Clearwater men arrested on store rooftop after officer injured

CLEARWATER — A gun-wielding man who drove a car into a police officer was arrested with an associate Thursday after they sought refuge on the roof of a Lowe's Home Improvement store, authorities said.

Derrick Scudder, 23, and Barry Miller, 25, were being held at the Pinellas County Jail. Scudder is charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer and multiple drug offenses, among other charges. Miller is facing a burglary charge.

Clearwater police were called at 12:21 a.m. Thursday morning to the Ross Norton Apartments on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, west of Missouri Avenue and north of Belleair Road. The caller reported that several men in a car were "waving guns," police said.

When police arrived, Scudder drove the car directly at an approaching officer, who attempted to jump out of the way but was struck by the car's passenger side. The officer suffered minor injuries, police said. The suspects drove away.

A chase ensued until the car crashed at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Druid Road. Three men jumped out of the car and ran away.

The men managed to climb atop a Lowe's store at the Clearwater Mall, said Clearwater Public Safety spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts. Police took a more cautious approach, calling in a Clearwater Fire and Rescue ladder truck to access the store's roof.

"Multiple guns and drugs" were found in the car, according to police.

Detectives are trying to identify and find the third suspect who was in the car, Watts said.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater men arrested on store rooftop after officer injured 10/04/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 4, 2012 7:33pm]
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