Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Public safety

Pasco deputies arrest SUV owner in hit-and-run, accuse her of filing false stolen vehicle report (w/video)

NEW PORT RICHEY — The hit-and-run incident that left a 14-year-old injured earlier this week has taken a sudden turn: A 22-year-old woman was arrested Thursday night and accused of falsely reporting that the sport-utility vehicle involved in the incident was stolen.

Samantha Henry faces a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report. She was released that night after posting $150 bail.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: FHP arrests man in Pasco hit-and-run that injured bicyclist; second man sought

The whole thing started Monday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, when surveillance video showed a gold Ford Expedition losing control and swerving wildly along the street. It ran a stop sign, swerved into a yard, struck a vehicle and then struck Johnny Walsh head-on, sending the 14-year-old flying off his bike.

The SUV took off. Walsh was seen walking around after the crash. He was taken to Florida Hospital North Pinellas for treatment of minor injuries, according to the FHP.

The FHP asked the public for help in locating what it described as the "stolen" 1998 SUV and two men who were inside when it struck the teen.

It was found by mosquito control workers in the woods behind a U.S. 19 car dealership. That night, Pasco sheriff's deputies arrested Christopher Michael Try, 20, on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.

Here's how Henry entered the picture: the Sheriff's Office said she reported the SUV stolen on Monday and signed a sworn affidavit. But deputies said they later determined that an "associate" of hers was driving the vehicle.

They confronted Henry on Thursday, according to the arrest report, and she said she filed the "false" report because the "associate" asked her to. The report does not identify the "associate." While Try is in custody, authorities are still looking for the second man they believe was inside the SUV during Monday's incident: 23-year-old Kevin Wilson.

Try remains in the Pasco County jail, held in lieu of $10,500 bail.

Anyone with information about Wilson's whereabouts or this incident is asked to call the FHP by calling (813) 631-4020 and (*347) or they can contact Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-873-8477 or make an anonymous tip at www.crimestopperstb.com.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

 
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