A Pinellas sheriff’s deputy tried to keep up with a driver who was blowing through red lights on 22nd Avenue N at a speed of at least 100 mph at 3 a.m. Monday.
He couldn’t keep up.
After the driver ran at least four red lights, he pulled into an apartment complex and the deputy was able to finally catch up with him.
The man behind the wheel, Patrick Allan Laesser, 33, showed signs that he was impaired by alcohol. He was arrested on a DUI charge and also was charged with refusing to submit for testing.
He also had been arrested on drunken driving charges in 2012 and 2017.
Arrest reports indicate Laesser was confused when approached by the deputy Monday morning. He also had watery and glassy eyes, “reeked of an odor of an alcoholic beverage” and moved slowly and lethargically, reports state.
The incident began just before 3 a.m. when the deputy saw a red 2008 Toyota blow through the red light at 22nd Avenue and 49th Street N at more than 100 mph, reports state. The speed limit in that stretch of road is 35 mph.
“I attempted to pace the vehicle at 100 mph, which continued pulling away,” the deputy later wrote in his report.
The deputy reported seeing the car speed through red lights at Tyrone Boulevard, 66th Street and 68th Street. The car pulled into an apartment complex and was approached by the deputy, who took him into custody.
Court records show Laesser also was arrested on a DUI charge in 2012. Tests showed his blood-alcohol count was 0.13. Florida law presumes impairment at 0.08.
Laesser later pleaded no contest and received probation, records show.
He also was arrested on a DUI charge after police said he was speeding on Fourth Street N. at 1 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2017. He refused to take any tests. The charge was later reduced to reckless driving and he again received probation.
Since 2003, records show, Laesser also has been cited about a dozen times in Pinellas County for traffic infractions, including four times for speeding.
Bail after his most recent arrest was set at $650. He posted it and was released from the Pinellas County jail about noon Monday.