Pursuit of Stolen Vehicle Ends in Crash
Updated route information:
The traffic stop was Initiated at Gulfport Blvd. and 51st Street, and the vehicle fled north from there. The vehicle left Gulfport at 11th Avenue South and 49th Street. Following several turns, the vehicle ended up on 1st Avenue South and headed east to 28th Street, where it turned north. The pursuit went as far north as 38th Avenue North before turning back south again. The vehicle entered I-375 from 5th Avenue North, then merged onto I-275 before taking the 28th Street South exit. After leaving the interstate, the vehicle turned toward the Jordan Park neighborhood, and it ended up crashing into the bus just before entering the housing complex.
Please note corrected name and date of birth on arrested subject.
Gulfport--At 5:50 PM, Officer Jesse Kellington observed a stolen Toyota Venza near the intersection of Newton Avenue and 51st Street South. After confirming the vehicle was stolen, he attempted a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle fled, so Officer Kellington initiated a pursuit in accordance with police department policy.
The pursuit led to Interstate 275, where the vehicle fled at speeds up to 90 miles per hour before exiting at the 28th Street South exit. Once off the interstate, speeds remained near 40 miles per hour, but the vehicle still did not stop. As additional officers and a helicopter were enroute to assist, the stolen vehicle crashed into a PSTA bus at the intersection of 11th Avenue South and 25th Street. The bus was southbound, and the stolen vehicle ran the stop sign, crashing into the side of the bus. The bus then left the roadway and struck the side of an apartment building near the intersection. Nobody in the apartment was injured, and it is unclear whether or not the building was occupied at the time.
Derrick D. Mims, black male DOB 12/8/1990 was apprehended as the driver of the stolen vehicle. He sustained minor injuries and will be charged with grand theft auto and aggravated fleeing & eluding police, both of which are felonies.
The front seat passenger in the Toyota is being treated for serious injuries.
A third passenger in the vehicle fled from the scene. He was described as a black male, 20-25 years old, wearing a baseball cap, red t-shirt, and blue jean shorts.
There was also a 2-year-old boy in the car, apparently the son of the driver. The child did not appear to be injured, but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution. The pursuing officer was unaware that the child was in the vehicle until he approached it after the crash.
One of the six passengers on the bus was transported to the hospital from the scene, although injuries were not immediately apparent.
The St. Petersburg Police Department will investigate the traffic crash. The Gulfport Police Department will conduct a pursuit review as standard procedure to ensure that the policy was followed appropriately. Gulfport officers are authorized to pursue when they have reason to believe the driver of a vehicle has committed a forcible felony. Burglary is a forcible felony that is a lesser-included offense associated with grand theft auto.
The vehicle had initially been reported stolen in St. Petersburg.