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Officer forces a vehicle traveling the wrong way off the road to prevent a crash in St. Petersburg

An officer was forced to stop a wrong-way driver in St. Petersburg on Monday, June 10, 2024, at approximately 11:49 a.m. The officer spotted a gray Honda Accord driving westbound in the eastbound lanes in the 600 block of 1st Avenue S.

The driver, identified as 49-year-old Shawn Michael Schmidhuber of St. Petersburg, caused a crash between two vehicles in the 900 block of 1st Avenue S, including one police vehicle.

Booking photo of Shawn Schmidhuber

Multiple officers tried to stop Schmidhuber, but their attempts were unsuccessful. One officer attempted to get Schmidhuber’s attention by yelling while driving parallel to him, but Schmidhuber did not respond despite having his window rolled down. This officer was involved in a crash and could not continue the pursuit.

Sgt. Michael Schade then followed Schmidhuber at 22nd Street S, using lights and sirens to attempt a stop. Schmidhuber did not comply.

Photo showing damage to the bumper area of Sgt. Schade’s patrol vehicle

Due to the risk of a serious accident with oncoming traffic, Sgt. Schade forced the Honda off the road in the 2400 block of 1st Avenue S. The vehicle went through a wood fence and into a tree. Schmidhuber tried to back up and leave but his vehicle became disabled. He was then taken into custody.

Schmidhuber is facing charges of fleeing and eluding a police officer, reckless driving, and driving under the influence. He was taken to Orlando Health Bayfront Hospital for a medical evaluation and then booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

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