TARPON SPRINGS — A New Port Richey man who said he couldn't afford traffic tickets took an unusual approach to saving a few bucks Monday night when he tried to run over a police officer who tried to stop him, authorities said.
Now, Gavin K. Schoeman is facing charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Tuesday afternoon after posting $25,000 bail.
According to arrest reports, a Tarpon Springs officer tried to stop Schoeman after he saw him speeding and swerving on U.S. 19, then driving in the wrong lane on Tarpon Avenue around 7 p.m.
The officer turned on his lights and siren and followed Schoeman's motorcycle. Schoeman, the officer said, ran a stop sign at Tarpon Avenue and South Spring Boulevard, then pulled into a subdivision.
When the officer got out of his police SUV, Schoeman drove directly toward him, according to reports.
Schoeman then resisted arrest and hit the officer in his chest and abdomen several times, reports said.
After he was taken into custody, Schoeman said he knew the officer was trying to pull him over but fled because "he couldn't afford the tickets," reports said.