Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo hit-and-run accident that injured pedestrian may have been intentional

LARGO — Authorities investigating a hit-and-run accident from late July said Monday that witnesses have told them the driver may have intentionally hit the victim, who was standing on a sidewalk.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 28-year-old Richard Lee Slate III was standing on the sidewalk on the southeast corner of Ridge Road and 117th Avenue N, just south of Walsingham Road in Largo, about 11 p.m. July 29.

A car, believed to be a Honda sedan, headed west on 117th, made a sharp turn onto Ridge and drove up onto the sidewalk.

The car hit Slate, who got trapped under the car and was dragged about 300 feet before he became dislodged when the car turned onto 116th Avenue N, the FHP said.

The car reversed and took off, leaving Slate lying in the road.

Slate was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where he remained in critical condition Monday — 10 days after the crash. FHP spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins said investigators have not been able to interview Slate.

"The more it's been looked into, in reference to the actual physics of the crash as well as talking to some witnesses and some people who may have information on the case, they feel more likely than not it could've been intentional, and based upon the driver's actions as well," Gaskins said.

Witnesses reported the car was being driven recklessly and it appeared the car was purposely steered toward Slate, the FHP said.

Gaskins said the FHP is working with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on the investigation.

"In a case like this, we're going to try to use local resources, in this case the Sheriff's Office, to develop the leads to prosecute criminally," he said.

The car may be a silver, gray or charcoal Honda sedan, 1997 to 2002 model.

Slate has a lengthy history of arrests in Pinellas dating to 2001. In 2007, he was sentenced to about 21/2 years in prison after he violated his probation on a child abuse charge, according to Pinellas court records.

Gaskins said investigators are exploring several possibilities, including whether the assault stemmed from some previous criminal activity or a domestic situation, but have not yet determined the motive.

"We're still interviewing anyone connected to him," Gaskins said.

The FHP is asking that anyone with information call FHP Cpl. Larry Maynard at (813) 631-4020.

Largo hit-and-run accident that injured pedestrian may have been intentional 08/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 12:19am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Before Janessa Shannon's death, parents traded accusations of abuse


    TAMPA — Long before Janessa Shannon's remains were discovered in a Hillsborough County nature preserve, her parents tried to convince court officials that she was in danger.

    From her own family.

    Janessa Shannon, 13, was found dead July 12 in the Triple Creek Nature Preserve in Hillsborough County. [National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]
  2. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  3. ICYMI: Florida education news in review, week of July 16, 2017


    Seems like Broward County has started a domino effect. It was the first school board to commit to filing a lawsuit against the state and its controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. Then, the St. Lucie County School Board signed on, too. A running tally of school boards that have reportedly expressed interested in …

    Kali Davis (left), training director for Springboard to Success, helps to coach Justin Black (center), who will be starting his third year of teaching PE at Melrose Elementary, as he works to instruct students in a math lesson during the Spring Board program of Summer Bridge at Woodlawn Elementary School in St. Petersburg.
  4. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.