PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Authorities say a Pasco County man stopped to smoke from a crack pipe then continued leading deputies on a wild chase that ended after he rammed his truck into two deputy cruisers.
Christopher George Conti, 46, yelled “I’m out of my mind on drugs” as he was taken into custody, according to an arrest affidavit. He is being held without bond at the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper said he first saw Conti driving a white Chevy pickup truck eastbound on State Road 54 near Mitchell Ranch Boulevard at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday. The trooper noticed that Conti’s truck had a severely cracked windshield.
The trooper tried to pull Conti over, but he wouldn’t stop. The trooper then pulled next to Conti at an intersection to try to get his attention.
“The subject appeared dazed. The subject looked directly at me and motioned with two fingers like he was pulling over,” said the trooper in an arrest affidavit. However, Conti did not pull over and the trooper tried to get his attention at the next intersection and used his PA to tell him to pull over.
Conti again motioned like he was going to pull over, but took a right at the next intersection and continued driving until he reached the intersection of Trinity Boulevard, then ran a red light while making a u-turn in the intersection. The trooper radioed in that Conti was attempting to flee and gave dispatchers his tag info.
Deputies with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing Conti, who ran over stop sticks that were placed at the intersection on SR 54 and Seven Springs Boulevard.
The trooper who originally saw Conti monitored him from a distance and saw Conti stop in a turn lane and light up a crack pipe. Conti then drove over a median and drove eastbound on SR 54 with one flat tire.
“I see the suspect’s vehicle just like the sheriff was talking about, swerving, driving recklessly,” said deputy Paul Reagan.
“I see him looking forward and his eyes got pretty big to where he knew he had to come back on the road or he was going to go into the ditch,” said Reagan. “I visually saw him grip the wheel and turn into my vehicle.”
According to the arrest affidavit, Conti intentionally swerved into the lane of a deputy who was pursuing him, forcing the deputy to change lanes to avoid being hit. Conti then hit a deputy’s cruiser as the deputy pulled in front of him.
Conti continued driving on Trinity Boulevard and then rammed another deputy’s cruiser as the deputy pulled up alongside of him. The impact caused the deputy’s vehicle to spin onto the shoulder of the road.
Sheriff Chris Nocco said Conti had no regard for human life as he sped through the streets.
“There could have been a family coming home from practice from picking up the kids after day care and this individual, with this vehicle, absolutely would have destroyed them,” said Sheriff Nocco.
Conti’s truck finally came to a stop. When a Pasco deputy approached Conti to take him into custody, Conti yelled, “I’m out of my mind on drugs,” according to the arrest affidavit.
Deputies say Conti dropped a glass pipe out of the window of the truck. The pipe later tested positive for cocaine.
The trooper responded to the location where Conti was arrested and told him he was conducting a DUI investigation.
Conti refused to provide a blood sample and told the trooper, “Can you note in your report I was cranked out of my ******* mind when you tried to stop me?” according to the arrest affidavit.
“You have a person that’s drugged out of his mind driving a 5,000 pound vehicle. You know, that’s like somebody running through a mall with a gun waving it,” said Sheriff Nocco. “We had to take every precaution to get this person in custody as quickly as possible.”
Conti was charged with the following-
- 2 counts of aggravated assault on a firefighter/EMT
- 2 counts of aggravated battery against on a firefighter/EMT
- 2 counts of fleeing and eluding police with disregard of safety to persons or property
- 2 counts of driving with a suspended license
- 1 count of possession of cocaine
- 1 count of possession of paraphernalia
- 1 count of driving under the influence.
Authorities say Conti has an extensive criminal history including arrests for fleeing to elude and drugs.STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-
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