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Hernando chase ends in crash, driver's arrest

BROOKSVILLE — A chase of a stolen vehicle that wound through west Brooksville early Tuesday morning ended in the parking lot of the St. Petersburg Times with a crashed pickup truck and a Tasered suspect.

When officers sorted out the incident, they discovered that the Ford F-150 they had been pursuing had been reported stolen in Pasco County. But the license plate on the truck had been taken from another vehicle, a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer that had been reported stolen in Hernando County.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office gave this account:

A deputy patrolling near Masaryktown about 2 a.m. ran the tag on a white F-150 in front of him on U.S. 41 and learned the plate had been stolen from the Trailblazer.

The truck turned onto Wiscon Road and then onto Mobley Road, with the deputy and now a Brooksville police officer following. The driver sped west onto Cortez Boulevard, where another deputy joined the chase. The truck then crashed into a utility pole at Winter Street, in front of the newspaper office.

Brittany Gariepy, 20, of Homosassa ran from the truck and was subdued in the parking lot by a Taser fired by the Brooksville police officer. She was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital and treated for a small head laceration.

A passenger in the truck, Dustin Pandy, said he had tried to get Gariepy to stop during the chase and even tried to pull the key out of the ignition. He was not charged in connection with the chase.

The pickup had been reported stolen from 3R Garage Doors Inc. in Zephyrhills.

Gariepy was charged by the Sheriff's Office with one count of possession of stolen property. She was charged by the Brooksville Police Department with fleeing to elude arrest, resisting a law enforcement officer without violence, and driving while her license was suspended or revoked.

Greg Hamilton can be reached at hamilton@sptimes.com or at 352-754-6113.

Hernando chase ends in crash, driver's arrest 01/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 8:47pm]
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