Officer Injured After Fleeing Man Crashes His Car in Gulfport

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Officer Injured After Fleeing Man Crashes His Car in Gulfport

Pinellas Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) are investigating a crash involving a Gulfport Police Officer.

According to investigators, on November 1, 2017 at about 12:52 a.m., a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to perform a traffic stop on a dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu on Pinellas Bayway South for speeding.

36 year-old Rodney A. Foster charged with fleeing and eluding

The vehicle fled eastbound from the traffic stop towards St. Petersburg. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Flight Unit was requested for assistance to locate the suspect vehicle. The deputy did not pursue the vehicle and returned to normal operation.

Shortly after, the Flight Unit spotted the suspect vehicle heading northbound at 54th Avenue North and 34th Street North.

Members of the Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) responded to assist in locating the suspect vehicle.

A VCTF member located the suspect vehicle and attempted to perform a second traffic stop on the vehicle, but the vehicle fled from the traffic stop at a high rate of speed. A pursuit was not initiated after this attempted traffic stop.

The suspect vehicle was then seen again near the intersection of 8th Avenue South and 49th Street South by a St. Petersburg Police Officer.

At approximately 1:03 a.m., Gulfport Police Officer Justin Guillory was on routine patrol in his 2017 Dodge Charger, a marked Gulfport police vehicle.

Officer Guillory made a U-turn on 56th Street South heading southbound toward Gulfport Boulevard South. As Officer Guillory passed an alleyway just north of
Gulfport Boulevard South on 56th Street South, the passenger side of his police vehicle was struck by the front passenger side of the suspect vehicle as it turned northbound on 56th Street South from the alleyway.

The impact of the crash caused Officer Guillory’s police vehicle to swerve,
and his vehicle struck a 2016 Dodge Journey that was parked along the eastside of 56th Street South. Officer Guillory’s police vehicle and the Dodge Journey sustained heavy front end damage.

The driver of the suspect vehicle exited his vehicle and fled the scene of the crash on root. Members of VCTF were able to find the driver and place him under arrest without further incident.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was identified as 36-year-old Rodney Foster of Plant City

Officer Guillory and Foster were transported to Bayfront Hospital withnnon life threatening injuries. Officern Guillory was released from Bayfront Health St. Petersburg after a medical evaluation.

Foster was released from Bayfront after a medical evaluation and was transported to the Pinellas County Jail. Foster was chargedĀ  and cited with Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Driving, Habitual Driving While License Suspended (DWLSR), and Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash with Property Damage

Investigators say none of the vehicles were operating in emergency mode at the time of the crash.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) is a county-wide, multi-jurisdictional task force that focuses on violent crime in Pinellas County. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department.

The investigation continues.

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