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The Tradition

HR King
Apr 23, 2002
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PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. —
On Thanksgiving Day, a woman from St. Petersburg was detained after police said she put the lives of thousands of marathon runners in jeopardy.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, police saw a white Range Rover traveling at nearly 70 mph in a residential area around 8 a.m.

According to police, Ashlee Lauren Morgan, 38, was driving toward a closed course for the Thanksgiving Day 5K Turkey Trot which attracted 3,000 participants. The 5K was underway and there were a lot of people on the track, according to the officials.

“Morgan was observed driving recklessly south on Coffee Pot Boulevard Northeast, approaching the Snell Isle Bridge,” the department said. “Three officers made contact with her, requested her credentials, she refused, and fled the scene of the stop at a high rate of speed onto the racecourse.”

At the junction of Snell and Brightwater Boulevard, a different officer attempted to pull her over, but she disobeyed his directions to stop and went past two marked patrol cars with their emergency lights on, as well as multiple caution cones, according to the police.

At the intersection of Brightwater Boulevard and Lamara Way Northeast, officers ultimately had to force her to stop. Police said that during her arrest, Morgan became hostile.

“While under arrest, the defendant banged her head against the rear windows of the police cruiser, attempted to exit as her handcuffs were being adjusted, was combative, and OC Spray was utilized on two separate occasions in order to gain her compliance,” a police statement said.

An arrest affidavit obtained by WFLA said that if the officers did not stop Morgan, she would have “barreled through the intersection causing mass [casualties] to race participants.”

Morgan hit a stop sign and damaged her back bumper after fleeing a collision on 26 Avenue NE and 1st Street NE, according to the police department.

“Our officers work these special events so that they can be there to avert potential problems,” spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said. “In this case, several officers had to intervene to keep this driver from possibly harming the runners.”

The affidavits state that there was no sign of drug or alcohol abuse or mental health problems.

Morgan was arrested and put into the Pinellas County Jail. She faces two charges of felony fleeing and evading, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, driving recklessly, and resisting an officer without using force.

 

TJ8869

HR Legend
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Dec 7, 2006
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Is it just my perception or is Pinellas County the trashiest county in Florida?
 

SeaPA

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Dec 17, 2002
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Didn't this happen last year too?

Similar - it was during the run that goes across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In that one, a State Trooper crashed into the drunk driver, head-on, to prevent him from driving onto the bridge where about 10,000 runners were crossing.
 
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Jerome Silberman

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Oct 30, 2009
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