Motorcycle Rider Tapes His Police Chase and Other Illegal Shenanigans

salesteam

Motorcycle Rider Tapes His Police Chase and Other Illegal Shenanigans

May 30, 2024

Earlier this year, a 24 year old Pinellas County man was charged with felony Fleeing and Eluding police officers and other related misdemeanor charges. He also helped provide evidence against himself by video taping his antics and posting them online after he had gotten away.

The rider was spotted by detectives operating his dirt bike in a reckless manner.

The report spells out the reckless driving as, “purposefully running red signals; riding on one-wheel ‘wheelies’ several times in various areas; driving across private properties, sidewalks, into oncoming traffic, passing on a double yellow traffic median, and riding dangerously close in the direction of police officers forcing them to leave the roadway at times.”

At various times the rider stopped and taunted police, waving them over and then taking off again when they got close.

According to other media reports, he also flipped the bird at police and at one point taunted, “Why you so mad? Oh, I’m scared.”

While the rider escaped the scene, he was tracked down the next day. It turned out the rider had a helmet mounted camera and he posted a long clip of the chase on his You Tube channel. Several people were able to positively identify him as the rider that day and he was arrested. The rider’s bond was set at $17,500 on the felony fleeing charge and 3 other related misdemeanors.

Important lesson: if you are going to do something this stupid and reckless, do not video it!

Street Racing Leads to Arrests after Top Speeds of 199 MPH

salesteam

Street Racing Leads to Arrest

After Top Speeds of 199 MPH

The driver of a red, 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and even his passenger were arrested in Orange County on street racing related charges.  Residents had called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office with complaints of street racing.  Deputies that arrived on the scene witnessed the racing and one deputy started to follow the red Camaro as it tried to leave the scene.  Once the vehicle got on the turnpike, it was clocked going 199 MPH in the 70 MPH zone.  The deputy did not try to stop the vehicle but kept it in view.

The red Camaro was found a short time later on a different street.  The deputy pulled up behind and as the light turned green, another race began.  This time the deputy hit his lights and siren and the Camaro pulled over.  A search of the car revealed a camera in the back window that was recording the events for the driver’s Instagram page.

The driver was arrested for first degree misdemeanor Racing on a Highway in violation of §316.191(2)(a).  That statute reads that “a person may not drive any motor vehicle in any street takeover, stunt driving, race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or for the purpose of making a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot.”

The wording of this statute is very broad and would seem to encompass even private property, as parking lots are included.  

More surprising is the arrest of the passenger for being in the car during the driver’s violation.  This, too, is a first degree misdemeanor.  Section 316.191(2)(c) reads, “A person may not knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race, drag race, street takeover, stunt driving competition, contest, test, or exhibition.”  This builds in a defense of knowledge requiring the prosecutor to prove the passenger knew illegal driving activity was going to happen.  Imagine if this was extended to DUI where a passenger could be arrested for knowingly driving with someone police allege is impaired.  Thankfully, Florida law has not gone to that extreme…yet.

Multiple violations of the Street Racing Statute are enhanceable.  While subsequent violations remain first degree misdemeanors, the fines go up, as well as the length of the required driver’s license revocations.  The first offense has a fine of $500-to-$1,000 and a 1 year driver’s license revocation.  A second offense within 5 years of the prior violation carries a fine range of $1,000-to-$3,000 and a 2 year driver’s license revocation.  A third or subsequent offense within 5 years of the prior violation carries a fines of $2,000-to-$3,000 and a 4 year driver’s license revocation.  For second or subsequent violations, there are provisions for the vehicles being seized and forfeited under the ominous and broad Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.

At the end of the statute, section 7 specifically exempts racetracks, drag strips, or other designated areas set aside by proper authorities for such purposes.

“Hangry” is Obviously NOT a Defense to Battery

salesteam

“Hangry” is Obviously NOT a Defense to Battery

May 23, 2024

A Pinellas County man was arrested for domestic violence battery after striking his sister with a piece of fried chicken.

According to the arrest report filed by the Clearwater Police Department, “The Defendant and victim were in a verbal altercation when the defendant grabbed a bag of chicken from the victim and began to throw pieces of Church’s Chicken at her. One piece of fried chicken hit the victim in the back and left debris of food on her shoulder.”

Asked later why he committed the crime, “He stated he did this because he had not eaten and did not want the piece of chicken the victim offered him so he became upset.”

I will put aside the issue of police discretion to make an arrest, especially on a misdemeanor like this. Great police work. The Clearwater citizenry must feel safer with this defendant off the street. By law, however, this was a battery.

Florida Statute §784.03 (1)(a) defines it this way: The offense of battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of that person. This includes using some other object to strike the person, like with a piece of chicken.

I have actually represented clients on a couple of similarly ridiculous battery charges. One was a husband who got mad at his wife and threw a frozen pizza at her only to hit her best friend in the forehead leaving a pretty wicked bruise. Another client was accused of battering her brother by spilling a Coke on him during an argument.

In this current example, should the guy have been arrested for hitting his sister with a piece of chicken? No. But it was a battery by definition and this guy was a fowl of the law.