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Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Clearwater man drove into patrol cars, deputies say

Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested a Clearwater man who refused to stop and crashed into two patrol cars in Palm Harbor on Friday morning.

John Diede, 34, was charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with motor vehicle, one count of aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence and reckless driving.

About 11:30 a.m., two deputies saw Diede driving recklessly as he weaved in and out of traffic on U.S. 19 near Nebraska Avenue, deputies said. The two deputies tried to pull him over, but Diede wouldn’t stop.

Diede continued for about a half-mile and stopped his vehicle at U.S. 19 and Alderman Road.

The officers parked their police cruisers on each side of Diede’s car. When one deputy opened his car door, Diede drove and struck the police cruiser’s car door. Diede then swerved and struck the other deputy’s patrol car, the sheriff’s office said.

Diede drove into U.S. 19 traffic and rear-ended a civilian vehicle.

After he struck the vehicle, both deputies approached Diede’s car, but he wouldn’t exit the car, the sheriff’s office said.

The deputies broke the driver’s side window to try to get him out, but Diede continued to ignore commands and held on to the steering wheel, the sheriff’s office said.

The deputies used a stun gun on Diede. More deputies arrived at the scene to help apprehend him, the sheriff’s office said.

The two deputies were treated for minor injuries but weren’t seriously injured.

It doesn’t appear that alcohol or drugs were factors in the arrest of Diede, the sheriff’s office said.

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