A Lutz man is accused of taking Florida Highway Patrol troopers on a three-county chase in a stolen car on Thursday, then fleeing the scene once officers stopped the vehicle in Pasco County.
Investigators were able to find the man, Russell Frey, 36, five hours later hiding in a barn.
On May 18, just after 11:30 a.m., troopers in Sumter County noticed a stolen blue Toyota traveling east on County Road 48. The troopers tried to pull him over at a nearby Walmart, but the vehicle fled and troopers began a pursuit on County Road 48, then south on U.S. 301.
Troopers say Frey went through Sumter, Hernando and then into Pasco County.
Troopers used PIT maneuvers — pursuit intervention techniques — to force the car to stop near State Road 50 and Strickland Trail. Then, troopers say, Frey started to run away.
He left his passenger, 29-year-old Tatiana Santillan, behind. She was detained and sent to the hospital with minor injuries. Charges against her are still pending.
FHP worked with Hernando and Pasco County Sheriff’s office to create a perimeter in their search for Frey. They found him in the area of Dashbach Street and Kettering Road.
Frey was arrested on charges of reckless driving, aggravated fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license, aggravated assault, burglary, grand theft of a motor vehicle, resisting with violence, possession of controlled prescription drugs, and violation of probation.
Frey was later taken to the Hernando County Jail. Additional charges are pending against Frey in Sumter and Pasco counties.