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Man gets nine years in prison for leading police on chase

Published Feb. 20, 2013

CLEARWATER — A man who crashed into a PSTA bus while fleeing from police in a stolen sport utility vehicle was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison.

Derrick Deon Mims, 22, pleaded guilty to several charges, including fleeing and eluding, DUI with property damage, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and child abuse.

Circuit Judge Keith Meyer also ordered Mims' driver's license revoked for life.

The sentence brought to an end a case that began July 9 with a 14-minute police chase that looped through St. Petersburg before the crash in the Jordan Park neighborhood. That day, Gulfport police spotted Mims driving a stolen Toyota Venza and pursued him as far north as 38th Avenue before heading south again.

The chase ended when Mims hit the bus, then plowed into the side of a house. His 2-year-old son was in the back seat. A passenger, Chad Springer, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

The incident prompted the Gulfport Police Department to tweak its chase policy.

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