Thursday, February 22, 2018
Public safety

Driver accused of plowing through crowd outside Port Richey strip club

PORT RICHEY — Closing time early Saturday morning at the Brass Flamingo Adult Cabaret: The music shut down. The crowd funneled out to the parking lot. Dancer Angel Spong said she had just gotten off work when a man came after her.

The man screamed at her then kicked and spat on the car she was getting into, she said.

The rest of the crowd of about 50, some loyal customers of the strip club at 9034 U.S. 19, turned on him, she said. The man slipped into a black Honda Civic, which a Pasco County Sheriff's Office report says was driven by 20-year-old Gino Dattile.

Steven Jacobs, a bouncer, said he watched the Civic peel out of a parking spot, scuffing another car and bumping into him as it headed toward the end of the lot. Everyone got the car's tag number, he said. He figured the crowd would calm down.

Then, from 30 yards away, he saw the Civic whip around.

The car got up to 25 or 30 mph and plowed through the crowd like a tractor through a wheat field. Somehow, Jacobs said, everyone managed to jump out of the way.

Jacobs said he heard the tires squeal as the car again aimed for the crowd.

"He was going as fast as that car would go," Jacobs said.

The Civic smacked one woman to the ground where she ground her knees into the pavement, the report states. It slammed into a pickup truck, which lurched forward, knocking another man to the ground, then T-boned another car. The front headlight caught Spong in the knee.

"He didn't care who he hit," she said.

The crowd swarmed the car when it finally stopped.

Jacobs said he yanked Dattile from the driver's seat and shoved him to the ground. He said he tried to protect Dattile as the crowd kicked and stomped him. The same happened to a passenger in the car, Jacobs said.

At least four people went to Medical Center of Trinity or Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, including Dattile, who was medically cleared on his way to Land O'Lakes jail.

Dattile, of Coral Springs, was arrested on three counts of aggravated battery, three counts of driving under the influence with property damage and an additional DUI charge.

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