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Two teens arrested after Pinellas deputy fires gun at van

ST. PETERSBURG — Pinellas County deputies arrested two 16-year-old boys after a deputy fired shots during a traffic stop Sunday evening.

No injuries were reported from the gunfire.

Deputies arrested Travonte B. Banks and Donnell Weaver, both of St. Petersburg. Banks faces charges of grand theft auto and fleeing police. Weaver faces charges of grand theft auto and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

According to Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Marianne Pasha, 40-year-old Deputy Shane Boyette was filling out a stolen vehicle report near the Seminole Lanes Bowling Alley when he noticed a red Dodge van that was reported missing nearby in traffic.

The vehicle did not stop when Boyette tried to pull it over, and the driver fled to a residential area on the 6000 block of Creek View Terrace.

Investigators say the van drove through several yards until one teen jumped from the van and ran, and the other backed the van toward the deputy.

Then Boyette pulled his gun.

"Deputy Boyette challenged the second suspect in the van, but then the van began backing towards him — concerned about his safety, Deputy Boyette fired several rounds at the van," according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office.

The teen in the van was arrested without injury.

A sheriff's canine patrol team and other responding deputies caught the second teen "a few minutes" after his escape, investigators said.

The teen apprehended by the sheriff's canine unit received a bite injury and was treated and released from St. Petersburg General Hospital.

Boyette has been in law enforcement since 1993, starting with the Dunedin Police Department. He joined the Sheriff's Office in 1995, left for the private sector in 2001, then returned to the Sheriff's Office in 2008.

Boyette was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, which is a standard practice.

The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs bureau is investigating the shooting.

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Two teens arrested after Pinellas deputy fires gun at van 08/15/10 [Last modified: Monday, August 16, 2010 11:16am]
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