$52K bond for driver arrested in hit-and-run crash involving Pas - WFLA News Channel 8

$52K bond for driver arrested in hit-and-run crash involving Pasco deputy

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The deputy's cruiser was hit head-on. The deputy's cruiser was hit head-on.
Bertin Jaimes appeared in court Thursday. He is shown on closed circuit TV in the upper left of the photo. Bertin Jaimes appeared in court Thursday. He is shown on closed circuit TV in the upper left of the photo.
PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - The man accused of seriously injuring a deputy in a hit-and-run crash appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.

Bertin Jaimes, 25 of 5230 4th St. Zephyrhills, is charged with felony leaving the scene of a crash with serious injury, driving with an expired license, and driving left of center.  Thursday afternoon, a judge set Jaimes' bond at $52,000.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also put a "hold" on Jaimes, which means he will not be released from jail.

The deputy Jaimes is accused of hitting, Deputy Darren Hill, is at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa in serious condition with two broken legs and a broken arm. He underwent surgery Thursday.

“Thank God he is alive,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco. “If you saw pictures of the crash it’s horrific.”

Florida Highway patrolmen arrested Jaimes at 9811 Pangola St. Land O’Lakes, which is where this story began.

Investigators believe Jaimes was at the house earlier, when he got into a fight with his wife, Gladys Patricia Soto, 24, then left to go to his brother’s house in a Ford F-150.

At 4:22 New Year’s morning, patrolmen say Jaimes crossed the center line as he was traveling east on SR-54 near Loury Dr., and hit Hill’s cruiser head-on.

The impact left Hill severely injured, but he somehow managed to push his panic button over and over again. Rescue teams eventually airlifted him to St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“About 4:30 I heard a thud,” said Mike Fall, who lives near the highway. “To me it sounded like a gunshot. Deputy [Hill is] definitely lucky. Full-size truck. Small car. He’s definitely lucky.”

Deputies say Jaimes left Hill and somehow wound up at his brother and sister-in-law’s home at 5414 4th St. Zephyrhills, nearly 6 miles away from the accident scene. Deputies believe Jose Carmen Jaimes, 29 and the brother of the suspect, and Jazmin Sanchez Aquire, 21 and the suspect’s sister-in-law, knew about the accident.

“We know there were statements made that indicated that he was involved in the crash,” Sheriff Nocco said.

Deputies said Soto drove to the brother’s house from the party in Land O’Lakes, picked him up and took Jaimes back to the location of the party.

“Let me just tell you – from that point – the uncooperativeness cannot be understated of this family,” Sheriff Nocco said. “This family thought that they can lie to us. There were actually points where our deputies were actually laughed at.”

He said some those attentive investigators knew what was happening.

“There was a language barrier but we have many deputies who speak Spanish. They did not know that they spoke Spanish. So when they were talking and they were laughing, we were able to pick up clues to find out where the suspect was, what had happened,” Sheriff Nocco said. “It’s just arrogance on their part that they thought they could laugh about it. They thought they could get away with possibly killing a deputy last night.”

Deputies arrested Jaimes’ brother, sister-in-law, father-in-law and his wife on a misdemeanor count of obstruction. On Thursday, Jaimes' wife and father-in-law bonded out of jail.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency put a "hold" on Jaimes' brother and sister-in-law.

As for Deputy Hill, the sheriff says he is expected to make a full recovery.

“He doesn’t know anything about the crash. He just knows that he activated his emergency button because that’s what the deputies had told him,” the sheriff said.

Doctors were sedating Hill early Wednesday but he awoke later and was holding conversations.

“He does not remember the accident. He doesn’t remember what happened. He didn’t even know what hospital he was in,” Sheriff Nocco said.

Hill grew up in Pasco Co. and graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice. He went on Full Sail College in Orlando and obtained a master’s degree in game design and still continues to work in that field on the side. His brother is a veteran Marine who saw combat. In a phone conversation one day, both decided to go into law enforcement. Both attended the academy at Hillsborough Community College.

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