TAMPA — A 43-year-old man driving a stolen vehicle linked to two robberies led officers on a high-speed pursuit Monday that ended when he crashed into an off-duty sheriff’s SUV, according to Tampa police.
The driver, Maurice Antonio Fryson, was taken into custody for questioning but police did not say late Monday what charges he faces. Police said the robberies took place in Temple Terrace and another location Hillsborough County but released no other details.
Tampa officers learned the stolen 2000 Toyota Avalon was connected to those robberies when they tried to pull it over near N 10th Street and E Sligh Avenue at about 4 p.m. Monday, according to Tampa police.
Instead, police said Fryson sped away and headed east on E Flora Street from N 10th Street, then went south on N Nebraska Avenue.
The Avalon struck a Toyota Highlander SUV and a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck, police said, before crashing into a Chevy Suburban — an unmarked Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office vehicle driven by an off-duty colonel.
Fryson ran from the wreckage. Officers caught up to him and arrested him.
The off-duty colonel and the drivers of the other two vehicles that were hit were not injured, police said.
High-speed pursuits can expose the public to danger, so law enforcement agencies such as the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Petersburg Police Department restrict car chases to cases involving a violent felony. Tampa’s policy allows officers to pursue in some cases of burglary as well.
Tampa police did not say what circumstances justified Monday’s pursuit.
Fryson was taken to a police district office for questioning. In 2003, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for robbery-related charges in Leon County. In 2018, Fryson was sentenced in Hillsborough County court to 13 months in prison for illegally entering a car, stealing a hedge trimmer and chainsaw and pawning them. He was released on Sept. 1.