Traffic stop turns into extended chase for Tampa police

TAMPA — Officers used a patrol car, helicopter and dog to chase a man who fled a traffic stop early Sunday, according to an arrest affidavit.

Once caught, the man said he ran because "his license is bad," the affidavit states.

About 3 a.m., police tried to pull over a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Gerrard Tyrell Williams, 24, whose address is listed as a motel on E Columbus Drive, because they say he ran a stop sign at E Fifth Avenue and N 22nd Street. The officer turned his lights and siren on, but Williams continued driving, according to an arrest affidavit.

He drove off the road, into a dirt field and back onto the road, at which point police stopped their pursuit and called for a helicopter to follow, authorities said.

Williams sped through a residential neighborhood before stopping the car, getting out and running, the affidavit states.

Officers and a police dog followed him, and Williams jumped over a fence to an industrial warehouse, the affidavit states.

When police caught up to him, Williams asked, "Oh, that was you?" He then said he fled because "his license is bad," the affidavit states.

Police said Williams is a habitual traffic offender. He was arrested on charges of fleeing to elude arrest, being a habitual offender and resisting arrest without violence.

He was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail, where he remained Monday morning in lieu of $10,000 bail.

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Traffic stop turns into extended chase for Tampa police 03/29/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 29, 2010 1:10pm]

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