Clearwater police officer struck and injured by fleeing driver

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater police officer conducting a traffic stop on the Courtney Campbell Causeway was rammed by the car and suffered minor injuries late Friday night, according to police.

It happened at about 11:37 p.m. on the eastbound Courtney Campbell Causeway about a mile and a half east of Bayshore Boulevard, Clearwater police said.

Officer Kent Reeves had stopped David Valentin, 21, of Tampa, for suspicion of speeding and was approaching the drivers's side door when Valentin suddenly made a U-turn, striking Reeves as he swerved toward the westbound lanes, police said.

Other officers chased Valentin to 2266 Gulf to Bay Blvd., where he crashed into a fence and mobile home, police said. Valentin ran away, and officers set up a perimeter and used a police dog to search for him. He was arrested without incident.

Reeves treated for minor injuries at Morton Plant Hospital and released, police said.

Valentin was charged with two counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding, criminal mischief, obstruction of justice, burglary and driving with a suspended license. He was being held at the Pinellas County Jail Saturday in lieu of $37,650 bail.

Clearwater police officer struck and injured by fleeing driver 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 8:51pm]

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