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Three 911 calls warned Pasco deputies of erratic driver

The first 911 call came at 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.

It was from a man leaving the Brass Flamingo, a strip club in Port Richey. He said he saw a woman in a red Dodge pickup drive off the road into a ditch. The truck ripped a sign out of the ground, smacked into a pole and drove back on the road, headed north on U.S. 19.

"This person," the man told dispatch, "something is really wrong with the driver."

Authorities say the driver was Brittany Miles, a 21-year-old who would escape her handcuffs hours later during a traffic stop on U.S. 19, flee a cruiser, drag and nearly kill Pasco deputy Ashley Grady, 23, and then hit and kill 66-year-old motorcyclist Henry McCain in Hernando County. Miles works at the Brass Flamingo, according to a recent arrest report. That appears to be where the events began.

According to 911 calls released Thursday by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, deputies were searching for Miles and her red pickup for nearly five hours before she was pulled over just after 7 a.m.

Miles was such a terror on the roads that three concerned citizens called the Sheriff's Office to report her erratic driving, authorities said.

Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said deputies had been told to be on the lookout for the red truck and that the Florida Highway Patrol was notified.

The second call came at 2:34 a.m.

The red truck was in a ditch at a Hess gas station on U.S. 19 across the street from Gulf View Square Mall, about a half-mile north of the Brass Flamingo. The caller said a man approached the truck and the female driver — whom the Sheriff's Office says was Miles — let him in.

As the caller spoke to a dispatcher, the woman floored the truck, squealing out of the ditch and parking lot in a cloud of smoke.

"They just peeled out and tore up the damn property," the caller said. The woman said she thought the car might be stolen, with the way the driver was acting.

"She was definitely on something," the caller said.

The third call came at 7:06 a.m.

It was from a man on his way to work. Doll said the call originated in Holiday. The man talked with dispatch as he followed Miles north on U.S. 19.

"The lady is weaving all over the road," the caller said.

He said the truck just stopped two or three times in the middle of the road in his neighborhood before getting on U.S. 19 at Mile Stretch Drive.

"She's kind of frantic," he said. "The hood of the truck is up."

The caller kept talking to dispatch as he followed her past Trouble Creek Road and Main Street in New Port Richey, over the bridge to Port Richey. He said she nearly hit several cars.

"There she goes again," he said.

Miles was pulled over minutes later by a deputy at U.S. 19 and Florestate Drive in Hudson. She was handcuffed and placed in the back of Deputy Grady's cruiser. About 9 a.m. she escaped — authorities won't say how — while Grady finished her paperwork in the front seat. Grady reached through the window of the red truck as it pulled onto U.S. 19, and Miles pried her hands out of the cab, flinging the deputy into traffic.

Grady is recovering from a broken leg and ankle and multiple scrapes and bruises.

McCain was killed minutes later when Miles ran into his motorcycle at U.S. 19 and County Line Road, authorities said. Miles remains at the Hernando County jail on numerous charges, including felony murder.

"That's what I'm concerned about," the final caller said, before he hung up the phone with dispatch, "somebody else getting hurt."

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

Three 911 calls warned Pasco deputies of erratic driver 05/12/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:51pm]
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