Clearwater man arrested for hitting deputies' cars - WFLA News Channel 8

Clearwater man arrested for hitting deputies' cars

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Pinellas County Sheriff Deputies say they have arrested a Clearwater man after he hit the cars of two deputies while trying to avoid a traffic stop at about 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

Authorities say they have arrested 34-year-old John Diede.

Deputies say they attempted to stop Diede after they saw him driving recklessly in the area of US 19 and Nebraska Avenue. Deputies Timothy McTaggart and William Cooley say they saw Diede weaving and swerving through traffic and they tried to stop him.

The deputies say Diede refused to stop and continued a half mile down the road to US 19 and Alderman Road where he stopped. They say as Deputy McTaggart got out of his car, Diede drove forward and hit Deputy McTaggart's cruiser door.

Officials say Diede continued to drive forward and he swerved into Deputy Cooley's cruiser. They say he continued and intentionally hit a civilian's car in an attempt to get through the intersection.

Investigators say Deputies McTaggart and Cooley approached Diede's vehicle and ordered him to come out of the vehicle. They say he refused and deputies broke his window to try and get him out of the car. They day Diede still refused to come out of the car and grabbed onto the steering wheel.

Officials say deputies deployed an electronic control device on Diede and were then able to place him under arrest.

Diede is charged with two counts of aggravated battery with a motor vehicle on a law enforcement officer, one count of aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence and reckless driving.

Deputies McTaggart and Cooley were treated for minor injuries. Officials say no one else was injured.

A press release from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says that Deputy McTaggart has been with PCSO for nine years and that Deputy Cooley is a 12 year veteran.

Investigators say it does not appear that drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.

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