CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Aquinetta Nelson knew she had to do something after witnessing a car hit a crossing guard and then leave the scene in Clearwater. For her, it wasn’t a second thought.
“I guess in the heat of the moment, you do think about it but looking back, if I was that person on the ground that just got hit by a car and ran over, then I would want someone to try to stop them too,” Nelson said.
She jotted down the car’s license plate and gave the number to another driver and instructed him to call 911. She got behind the wheel of her SUV and pursued the Honda Accord.
When she caught up to it in the turn lane at Belcher and Nursery, she swerved in front of it so the driver couldn’t leave.
“I literally jumped out and asked him ‘Sir,’ I was yelling at him, kind of from a distance. I didn’t want to go up to his car but I said ‘Sir, I’m sorry, please don’t hit me, but you have to stop,'” said Nelson. “‘You just hit a man and ran him over and we cannot let you go.'”
Clearwater police officers showed up on the scene and arrested the driver, 68-year-old Greg Olson.
He’s now charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injury and driving on a license that is suspended or revoked.
At his first appearance before a judge Thursday afternoon, a friend from church spoke on his behalf. Randy Rust told the judge he’s known Olson for decades.
“I’ve known him for 35 years, I’ve broken bread with him many times,” Rust told the judge. “He’s played with my kids. He is not an evil man.”
After the hearing, Rust told 8 On Your Side he believes his friend does not belong behind bars, nor behind the wheel of a car.
“He shouldn’t be driving and they’ve got to find a way to put him in a nursing home or somewhere where he’ll be safe away from people out there driving,” said Rust. “He shouldn’t be driving.”