Three teenagers and a 21-year-old suspect have been arrested in connection to a string of burglaries Monday that prompted a high-speed police chase that ended in a crash in St. Petersburg.
None of the suspects was injured in the accident. However police released the names of the four motorists injured when the suspect's vehicle crashed into three other cars at Martin Luther King Jr. St. and 9th Avenue North.
Injured in the accident and transported to Bayfront Medical Center were:
- Kathleen Thornton, 50, of 23rd Ave. North, who had been driving a Toyota. She had minor injuries.
- Susan Anderson, 59, of 32nd Avenue South, driving a Dodge. She also had minor injuries.
- Kenneth Holderman, 59, also of 32nd Avenue South, a passenger in the Dodge. He suffered critical injuries.
- Kevin Carlson, 50, of Lutz, driving a Ford, was not taken to the hospital. He was treated at the scene.
Two minors, ages 16 and 17, were arrested Monday for the burglaries. Police said the driver of the white Hyundai was 21-year-old Jocquez Lovett, who will be charged with burglary, grand theft auto, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Police also arrested 18-year-old Jatoney Robson, who is charged with three counts of burglary. More charges are pending, police said.
According to police, Monday afternoon's pursuit was initialed after a neighbor witnessed the suspects breaking into house at 3649 12 St. N and allegedly taking one or more flat screen televisions and placing them in the white Hyundai.
The witness, police said, attempted to follow the suspects in his car, but lost them in the area of 42 Avenue North and 7th Street. The witness was able to provide a car description and tag number to police.
A short time later another call was received from 878 50 Ave. N where police said the same suspects had attempted to enter the home however the homeowner was still in the residence and the suspects fled back to their car.
According to police, an earlier call had also been received at 4539 Haines Rd regarding the same suspects attempt to enter a house at that location as well.
Upon searching the area, an officer located the suspect vehicle going down a dead-end road in the vicinity of the 4000 block of Haines Rd. Police said the suspect vehicle turned around and proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed directly at the officer's cruiser causing him to take evasive action to avoid contact.
Police said that a supervisor authorized a pursuit.
According to police, the pursuit proceeded south to 22 Avenue North then east to 4th Street, where it turned south. A minor collision occurred with another car in the vicinity of 15 Avenue North and 4th Street.
The suspect car then proceeded West on 15th Avenue across the unpaved southern portion of Crescent Lake Park and then continued west on 14th Avenue North after which they turned south on Dr. MLK Street.
Police said the suspect vehicle ran the red-light at 9 Avenue North where it struck a west bound vehicle, which in turn collided with two north bound vehicles stopped at the intersection.
After the collision, three suspects fled from the car while a fourth remained inside the car and was apprehended.
One fleeing suspect was apprehended inside the Walgreens on the southeast corner of the intersection.
The two remaining suspects were apprehended a few blocks south of the crash scene, police said.
According to communication notes, the pursuit lasted about 5 minutes with speeds ranging mostly from 40 to 50 mph with a maximum of 70 mph reported on 22nd Avenue North.
At this time the suspect vehicle has been secured for forensic processing and the car has not yet been searched. Detectives are still attempting to identify ownership of the car and the tag found on it.
According to police, in the initial media release it was reported that the tag was stolen out of Treasure Island; however that was erroneous.
None of the suspects suffered any significant injuries, but were taken to the
hospital as a precaution.
Lovett has been identified as the driver of the car and will be charged with felony fleeing and eluding as well as aggravated assault upon a law enforcement officer. Additional charges of residential burglary will be filed against the other suspects, police said.