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Two men arrested in Clearwater in separate officer assault incidents

CLEARWATER — Police arrested two men on charges of assaulting officers in separate incidents Thursday, just two days after two Tampa police officers were shot to death during a traffic stop.

In one of the incidents, Marvin Johnson, 51, of Clearwater alluded to those killings, telling the arresting officer that he would "end up like the officers in Tampa," the arrest report said.

Officer Brian Rogers was responding to a report of gunshots on the 200 block of N Pennyslvania Avenue at about 8:30 a.m.

The report said Johnson was walking down the street and immediately became hostile when Rogers approached him. He threatened Rogers and told him he had "found the wrong person to harass," the report said. He also made an "aggressive movement toward the officer as if he was going to attack him," police spokeswoman Beth Watts said.

Johnson was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of marijuana. Police were not able to determine who fired the gunshots or from where they originated.

In the second incident, which occurred at 2:38 a.m. at Tangerine Street and Douglas Avenue, Paul R. Smith of Palm Harbor failed to pull over for a routine traffic stop, the arrest report said.

Instead, Smith, 44, accelerated and drove into the oncoming lane of traffic, directing his car at another Clearwater police cruiser. The officer driving the oncoming vehicle was forced to swerve to avoid a head-on collision, the report said.

A 24-year-old female passenger in Smith's car tried to jump out through the passenger side door, but Smith pulled her back inside the vehicle. Through the window, she put her hands in the air and shouted for help.

Police chased Smith for three minutes, at which point he jumped out of the car and fled. Officers were able to catch him on foot, the arrest report said.

Smith was charged with aggravated assault, fleeing and eluding a police officer, driving while his license was suspended or revoked, resisting an officer and false imprisonment.

Both Johnson and Smith were being held Friday afternoon at the Pinellas County Jail. Bail was set at $650 for Johnson and $41,000 for Smith.

Martine Powers can be reached at (727) 445-4224 or mpowers@sptimes.com.

Two men arrested in Clearwater in separate officer assault incidents 07/02/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 2, 2010 6:07pm]
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