1. #1
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    distchief60b's Avatar
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    Post Pasco County Fla--Police Chase ends in Crash/Fatality

    This is the second fatality involving a chase by Pasco County Deputies in as many days. Sunday night Pasco County Sheriffs Office Deputies shot and killed a man after he wrecked and was reported to have attempted to attack deputies after the crash.... In addition you will notice the reponse times for the ambulance. This area is one in which the County Fire Department took over Coverage from Dade City (see "Fire Departments Face loss of County Contract" in another thread). The delayed response and the subsequent comments by the Dade City Fire Department will no doubt stir the controversy again.
    ________________________________


    Accident created tense scene
    Yelling with racial overtones sprouted after a man crashed fleeing deputies. His family says deputies didn't do enough to help the man, who died.

    By STEVE THOMPSON
    St. Petersburg Times
    published May 13, 2003


    LACOOCHEE - A shiny white Chevrolet with silver rims drove slowly, stopping on Pine Products Road where it meets Chap Road. The young teary-eyed driver stopped at the makeshift shrine.

    It was a small cross lined with red flowers at the base of a tree. A note tucked among the flowers read, "Mike, you will always be remembered. We will always love you." His favorite sweater was pinned to the tree's trunk.

    Michael Anthony Reed, 23, died after a 2-mile chase Saturday evening when he swerved at a curve in the road and slammed into a nearby tree. Deputy John Ardolino had been chasing Reed because the Chevrolet Caprice he was driving had a wrong license tag, a sheriff's report said.

    Reed was thrown through the front windshield and was lying on the hood when Ardolino pulled up and stopped.

    What happened afterward depends on who is asked. The Sheriff's Office declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. Reed's relatives are complaining that deputies failed to offer emergency help. They also say rescue crews took too long to arrive at the scene, which turned tense as 75 to 100 people yelled threats, profanity, and racial insults at deputies, according to the sheriff's report.

    Among the crowd were many of Reed's family members, including an aunt, Sylvia Coleman. They had driven to the scene as word of the accident spread quickly through the neighborhood.

    Coleman said she arrived to see several officers there, but no ambulance. Deputies had pulled Reed off the hood of the car but were not otherwise attending to him, she said.

    Coleman tried to go to Reed to perform CPR, but deputies prevented her, she said.

    "He said get behind the line," Coleman said of the deputy who blocked her path. "Mike was trying to breathe. That's what made me want to do it for him."

    Coleman said she works at Florida Medical Center drawing blood and is certified to give CPR.

    Coleman said officers acted belligerently and that an ambulance technician later shouted profanities and made an obscene gesture toward her.

    Joe Thomas, who lives near the crash scene and was one of the first to arrive, said he couldn't see that the deputies were at fault.

    "There was a lot of hollering going on," he said. "It turned in a racial type of deal between whites and blacks." He said he wondered why officers did not perform CPR on Reed, but he did not see them act improperly.

    Reed is black and Ardolino is white; witnesses said the crowd was made up of people of various races. Thomas said some arguing broke out among crowd members when a white girl used a racial slur to describe Reed.

    Pasco sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said deputies learn CPR during their academy training and get refresher courses during their employment. But he said he didn't know of a department policy that dictates specific circumstances when deputies must perform life-saving measures.

    Pasco County Assistant Fire Chief Chris Alland said the call for an ambulance came at 6:22 p.m. Saturday. Paramedics from a county station in Dade City arrived 13 minutes later, at 6:35 p.m.

    Alland said the response time was normal.

    "I would say that's probably pretty typical for the Lacoochee area. Naturally, the further you go away from Dade City, the longer it's going to be."

    But Dade City Fire Capt. Joey Wubbena said his department responds to calls in that area in eight or nine minutes. He reviewed department records for the last couple of months and said nine minutes was the average time.

    "It's not like driving clear out into the state forest," Wubbena said. "It's on the south side of town."

    When asked about Dade City's shorter response time, Alland simply said, "That's what the times are."

    Reed's family members said he leaves behind a girlfriend and a 11/2-year-old daughter, Mykeia. Friends said he was quiet and liked to visit Rumors nightclub.

    Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Reed was arrested at least eight times since 1994 on charges ranging from vehicle theft to burglary to cocaine possession with intent to sell. In 1996, when he was 17, he was one of two men who took part in the early morning robbery of R & J Foods that left three people hospitalized with gunshot wounds. A judge sentenced him to 41/2 years in prison in connection with the incident.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
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    EoneTiller's Avatar
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    Default

    when u run from the cops 2 ways out, in a body bag or in cuffs.

  3. #3
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    Post Follow Up...Investigation continues

    St. Petersburg Times


    Inquiries look at responses to fatal crash
    A young man's family members say a rescue worker treated them harshly and that they weren't allowed to help.

    By STEVE THOMPSON
    St. Petersburg Times
    published May 21, 2003


    You don't need a map to tell where Dade City ends and Lacoochee begins, locals say. If something good happens, people refer to the area as Dade City. If something bad happens, people call it Lacoochee.

    On May 10, something bad happened.

    A young man died in a car chase with a Pasco sheriff's deputy. A disturbance followed. And now two Pasco County Fire Rescue workers are under investigation. The Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol also are conducting routine investigations of their responses, sheriff's spokesman Jon Powers said.

    Witnesses accuse deputies and rescuers of doing too little to aid the fatally wounded driver. The young man's family members say that a rescue worker treated them harshly and that they were barred from offering help.

    Sheriff's officials and at least one rescuer deny the allegations.

    "The entire incident that we're involved in is being investigated," said Chris Alland, assistant chief for Pasco Fire Rescue.

    Alland confirmed Tuesday that rescue workers Lance Bartlett and Mark Lamanna are under investigation in connection with their response to the fatal crash of Michael Anthony Reed on Pine Products Road 10 days earlier. Rescue officials would not reveal any specifics about the investigation.

    Reed's aunt, Sylvia Coleman, told the St. Petersburg Times last week that rescue workers shouted profanities and made an obscene gesture toward her.

    The scene of the crash had turned tense as 75 to 100 people yelled threats, profanity, and racial insults at deputies, according to the Sheriff's Office. Reed crashed where Pine Products Road meets Chap Road, near where two Lacoochee neighborhoods come together. On one side sit government housing projects lived in mostly by black people. On the other are streets lined with modest, sometimes rundown houses lived in mostly by white people.

    One feeling that both sides seem to share is a general mistrust of police. Some in Lacoochee think police are as likely to harass as to protect.

    By all accounts, Michael Anthony Reed, who was black, was well-liked on both sides of Lacoochee. He died after he had tried to outrun a sheriff's deputy who was pursuing him because his license tag didn't match the car he was driving, the Sheriff's Office said.

    It was not Reed's first run-in with the law. Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show Reed was arrested at least eight times since 1994 on charges ranging from vehicle theft to burglary to cocaine possession with intent to sell. In 1996, when he was 17, he was one of two men who took part in the early morning robbery of R & J Foods that left three people hospitalized with gunshot wounds. A judge sentenced him to 41/2 years in prison for his role in the crime.

    With lights flashing and a siren blaring behind him, Reed swerved at a curve in Pine Products Road and slammed into a tree. The sound could be heard through the nearby streets, and word of what had caused it spread quickly.

    It was only minutes later when sheriff's Deputy John Ardolino, Reed's pursuer, who is white, found himself surrounded by a crowd of people, white and black, from nearby neighborhoods.

    "He was the only cop there, and he was scared," said David Davenport, who is white and was one of the first residents at the scene.

    Here's Ardolino's report of what happened:

    Reed had been hurled through the front windshield of his white Chevrolet and was hanging off the car's hood. His left ankle was hooked on the car's antenna. Ardolino put a handcuff on Reed's left hand. After checking Reed for breathing and pulse and finding none, Ardolino began giving Reed chest compressions. After several compressions, Reed began trying to breathe.

    Ardolino checked again for a pulse and found one. He unhooked Reed's leg and laid him on the ground beside the car.

    "I then heard Mr. Reed's breathing become labored," Ardolino's report said. "His teeth were tightly clenched together, and he was sucking air through his teeth."

    Ardolino pried Reed's mouth open and tilted his head so that fluid could drain from his mouth.

    "He then continued to breathe while I held his mouth open," Ardolino wrote.

    The crash happened at 6:22 p.m. Ardolino arrived at the scene one minute later, and the chief of Tri-Community Volunteer Fire, Mike Morgan, arrived at 6:27 p.m., according to sheriff's spokesman Powers.

    Ardolino reported that when fire rescue arrived, he briefed an unspecified paramedic on Reed's condition.

    "He took over administering aid," Ardolino wrote.

    While Ardolino did not specify which fire rescue service he had turned the scene over to, Powers said that Ardolino had turned Reed's care over to Tri-Community Volunteer Fire.

    "I then assisted in securing the crime scene while fire rescue personnel worked on Mr. Reed," Ardolino wrote.

    But some witnesses told a different story. They say the chief of Tri-Community Volunteer Fire showed up alone in a blue pickup truck and did not care for Reed.

    The chief just stood there, Davenport said. William Ramer, another witness who was interviewed separately, agreed.

    "He stood and watched," Ramer said.

    Reed lay unattended for 10 to 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived, Ramer said. As more sheriff's deputies arrived, they concentrated on photographing the scene and sectioning off the area with police tape, Ramer said.

    Morgan said he did take over Reed's care from Ardolino and maintained Reed's airway until the ambulance arrived.

    "I was kneeling down, I had rubber gloves on, and I never left his head until the paramedic arrived," said Morgan, who is an emergency medical technician.

    He said that one of the sheriff's deputies had a camera and seemed to be taking pictures of the scene while he was tending to Reed.

    Meanwhile, members of Reed's family were arriving. Coleman, Reed's aunt, said that when she came, no one was aiding Reed.

    When she tried to go to him, deputies prevented her, she said.

    The crowd that was gathering grew increasingly hostile toward the law officers who were arriving.

    Family members said the tension was not about race but about what they perceived as a lack of concern by police and rescuers. Ramer agreed.

    "They were just venting and walking around," Ramer said of the family members.

    He said Reed's family acted no differently than he would have expected anyone to act under the circumstances.

    Of the deputies he said, "They just had that tough-guy attitude."

    Ramer didn't find it hard to see why the family grew frustrated as deputies prevented them from approaching Reed.

    Ardolino did not know who Reed was as he pursued him, sheriff's spokesman Powers said. But some of Reed's family members recognized Ardolino.

    They knew him as the deputy who recently had visited the home of Reed's cousin, Mable Singleton, to apologize for confiscating her cigarettes and an open beer.

    On April 3, Ardolino took Singleton's cigarettes and beer, thinking she was under age, according to an internal report. He did not check her identification. Singleton, 23, had been talking with friends around a barrel fire that serves as a neighborhood gathering place off Pine Products Road.

    After Singleton called about the incident, Ardolino's supervisors had him bring her a new pack of cigarettes and apologize. Family members said this experience with Ardolino contributed to the tension at the scene of Reed's death.

    Ardolino, 29, was hired as a deputy on Sept. 26, 2000. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Florida.

    In November, a supervisor described Ardolino during an evaluation as "a young, aggressive deputy" and said he needed to work on his temperament in high-stress situations.

    Estimates differ on how long it took the ambulance to arrive. Ramer estimated it took 20 minutes. Other witnesses, including Davenport, estimated it took longer.

    Pasco County Assistant Fire Chief Alland said the call for an ambulance came at 6:22 p.m. Paramedics from a county station in Dade City arrived 13 minutes later, at 6:35 p.m., he said.

    As investigations continue, one reminder of that evening is gone. The tree that Reed's car struck has been replaced by a freshly hacked stump.

    - Staff writer Cary Davis contributed to this report
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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