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Pursuit ends in crashes, arrests on U.S. 19

PINELLAS PARK — A police pursuit Wednesday night ended with a multiple-car crash on U.S. Highway 19 and a chase on foot. Two people were finally arrested, initially stopped for driving with an unassigned tag.

At about 8:45 p.m., Sheriff's deputies patrolling the Lealman area saw a 2001 Chevrolet Malibu with a tag that had been seen on a different vehicle the night before. Deputies ran the tag and realized it was assigned to someone else. As the car approached a gas station at 58th Avenue N and U.S. Highway 19, they pulled it over.

But the driver of the car, 21-year-old Victor Butler Jr., of 2716 1st Ave. S in St. Petersburg, put the car in reverse, attempting to back into the deputies' cruiser before fleeing north on U.S. 19, deputies said.

As deputies followed, Butler hit the front end of an unmarked, off-duty deputy cruiser before losing control and hitting another car, a Mustang in the southbound lane of U.S. 19 north of Park Street. He kept driving, finally hitting a Jeep Grand Cherokee in a restaurant's parking lot at 7500 Park Blvd.

Deputies said Butler and his passenger, 20-year-old Jamarcus Waller, of 1827 20th Street S ran away. After a short chase, deputies arrested the two men.

Butler was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license, driving with an unassigned tag, three counts of leaving the scene of a crash, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana.

Waller's charges include possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine and an unrelated aggravated assault charge for which there was an outstanding warrant.

A passenger of the Mustang, Joshua Hines, 21, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.

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Pursuit ends in crashes, arrests on U.S. 19 08/06/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009 5:54am]
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