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5-mile pursuit ends with arrest of woman

Deputies chase a car, saying it was being driven erratically. At one point, the car rammed a patrol cruiser, but no one was hurt.

A St. Petersburg woman was arrested on multiple charges early Tuesday after a 5-mile chase by a Pinellas sheriff's deputy who tried to pull over a car near the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport.

During the chase, a sheriff's cruiser was rammed, causing minor damage. No one was injured.

Mary Latok, 41, of 5910 Bayou Grande Blvd., was charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, resisting arrest without violence and DUI. She was being held at Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $15,750.

Sheriff's Office regulations limit high-speed chases to incidents involving violent felonies. According to sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha, speeds during the chase did not exceed 50 mph.

"It was not a high-speed pursuit," Pasha said. "It was an attempt to stop someone who was driving erratically. There was no violent felony initially. Was there concern about her endangering other motorists? Yes."

The chase will be investigated by the sheriff's Pursuit Review Board, she said.

The incident started at 12:45 a.m. Deputy Paul Brock was on patrol near the airport, going south on Roosevelt Boulevard, when a 1999 Saturn traveling south at a high speed swerved to avoid hitting his cruiser. Pasha said the Saturn then swerved to pass to the right of another southbound car.

Brock turned on his emergency lights and siren and pulled the car over on Roosevelt near 140th Avenue N. The car that was passed also pulled over, and the driver got out to talk to the deputy about how fast the Saturn had been traveling.

As the two talked, the Saturn took off. The deputy got back in his cruiser and began chasing the car. Brock, using a loudspeaker on the car, ordered the driver to pull over. The Saturn continued south, went across the Ulmerton Road overpass and headed east on Ulmerton.

Another deputy joined the chase and pulled in behind the Saturn when Brock drove up next to the car. He again ordered the driver, later identified as Matok, to stop. The Saturn then rammed Brock's cruiser, Pasha said.

The chase continued east on Ulmerton and south on Roosevelt to Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street N in St. Petersburg. The Saturn headed south on Dr. M.L. King (Ninth) Street.

At 83rd Avenue N, the Saturn pulled into a service station parking lot. The two cruisers blocked the car.

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