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Pasco sheriff draws gun after following stolen car

Daniel Werther, 30, faces charges of fleeing, grand theft and more.
Daniel Werther, 30, faces charges of fleeing, grand theft and more.

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco got his hands dirty Thursday when he followed a stolen car that was reportedly going nearly 100 mph up Land O'Lakes Boulevard, sheriff's officials said.

At 11:45 a.m., a Pasco deputy ran the license plate of a car and attempted to pull it over after determining it was stolen out of Hernando County, said Pasco Sheriff's Office spokesman Kevin Doll. But the car took off speeding north on U.S. 41, and supervisors did not authorize the deputy to pursue it.

Nocco, who was in the vicinity, spotted the speeding vehicle and began to tail it. A state trooper joined him. The driver, later identified as Daniel Werther, 30, kept his foot on the gas.

Just south of the county line, where Hernando County deputies were waiting with spike strips to disable the vehicle, Werther turned left off Land O'Lakes Boulevard onto Bowman Road and stopped his car in a wooded area of Shady Hills, officials said.

That's when Nocco, another deputy and the trooper drew their weapons, ordered Werther to the ground and arrested him.

Werther was charged with fleeing to elude, fleeing to elude at high speeds, wanton disregard and grand theft of a motor vehicle. He had been released Sunday from Pasco County jail on a July 31 domestic battery charge after posting $250 bail, records show.

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