Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas Park police officer resigns after crash, DUI arrest

PINELLAS PARK — A city police officer resigned this week, days after he was accused of rear-ending another vehicle while drunk.

Matthew Patsch, who was hired at the Pinellas Park Police Department two years ago, was arrested by St. Petersburg police last week on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence with property damage.

"He was placed on administrative leave with pay immediately," said Pinellas Park police Sgt. Brian Unmisig. "He resigned on Monday."

St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz said authorities were called to a traffic crash at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday at Seventh Avenue N and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street.

A St. Petersburg man told police he was stopped at red light when Patsch drove into the back of his Toyota Tundra with a 2008 Jeep.

After the crash, Patsch told those present he was a police officer. But he denied having anything to drink. He was off duty and in his personal vehicle.

A St. Petersburg officer noted in a report Patsch was unsteady on his feet and had a dazed look on his face. His blood-alcohol content was recorded at 0.189 and 0.192 percent, more than twice the limit at which Florida law presumes a driver to be impaired, police said.

Pinellas Park police were notified that night of Patsch' arrest.

Records show he was released from the Pinellas County Jail after posting $500 bail early Friday. He is due in court Nov. 12.

The crash caused about $500 damage to Patsch's Jeep and $1,000 to the Toyota, police said.

Patsch was a patrolman in Pinellas Park, Unmisig said. It was unclear Wednesday if he had any previous discipline in his file.

Patsch is the second local police officer within the past week to be accused of drunken driving.

On Sunday morning, St. Petersburg police Officer Jenna Price was arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on a misdemeanor DUI charge.

Authorities said Price was passed out in her car at an intersection in Pinellas County. A person called 911 when Price's car didn't move after a few cycles of the traffic signal.

She has been placed on administrative leave while her agency conducts an investigation.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at or (727) 893-8643.

Pinellas Park police officer resigns after crash, DUI arrest 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Southern heritage groups sue to keep Confederate monument at old Tampa courthouse

    Local Government

    TAMPA — Groups that say they support Southern heritage filed a lawsuit late Friday trying to halt the removal of a Confederate statue from downtown Tampa.

    Workers place boards around a Confederate monument on Hillsborough County property in Tampa on Thursday, August 17, 2017. It took 24 hours to raise private funds in order to move the statue from its current location.
  2. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI


    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  3. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look


    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  4. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often


    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  5. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game


    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.