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Man accused of using his car in attempt to hit Clearwater police officer

CLEARWATER — A 22-year-old felon with a lengthy criminal history and no valid driver's license was arrested Monday and accused of trying to run over a police officer.

Jerald Lamar Rouse, of the 1100 block of Tangerine Street, was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, driving while license suspended or revoked, resisting arrest and possession of cocaine.

According to arrest reports, a Clearwater police officer was in the 1300 block of Parkwood Street around 8 a.m. when he saw Rouse driving westbound in a 2011 Nissan Altima. Rouse was weaving across the road and "bouncing up and down in his seat and laughing," the officer wrote in a report.

The officer said he had to jump back into his cruiser because he believed he was about to be hit, but Rouse swerved away at the last moment.

When the officer found the Nissan on Engman Street a short time later after canvassing the area, Rouse fled on foot. He was taken into custody after a "lengthy foot pursuit" that ended in the 1100 block of Carlton Street, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Beth Watts.

While searching Rouse, the officer found about a gram of crack cocaine in his pocket, according to reports.

After he was arrested, Rouse admitted to fleeing from police in November, according to the reports. In that case, police said, Rouse was driving 80 mph and swerving into oncoming traffic on Martin Luther King Avenue. The Nov. 14, 2009, incident happened in a residential area, police said.

Rouse's license was suspended indefinitely in September 2009 for failure to pay traffic fines.

His criminal history dates to age 11. He has convictions for possession of marijuana and cocaine. In March, he was sentenced to 18 months for cocaine possession and aggravated assault. He was released from prison in October. Nine days later, he was arrested on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm and was out on bail when he was arrested Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, Rouse was being held in the Pinellas Jail in lieu of $43,250 bail.

Man accused of using his car in attempt to hit Clearwater police officer 01/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:33pm]
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