Police release video of chase involving Dougherty Gang
Refusing to pull over for a traffic stop, the white sedan turns into the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy with a Zephyrhills police officer in pursuit. Suddenly, a series of popping sounds ring out. The officer curses under his breath and tries to keep following. "He fired several more shots at me," Officer Kevin Widner tells dispatchers. "I got a flat tire. It seems I won't be able to keep up to him." Those few seconds recorded on the dashboard camera of Widner's patrol car on Tuesday has sparked a nationwide manhunt for three siblings that police have dubbed the "Dougherty Gang."Lee Grace Elizabeth Dougherty, 29, a part-time dancer at a Cocoa Beach topless club, and brothers Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, are heavily armed and on the run, police say. The siblings are also accused of robbing a bank in Valdosta, Ga., later that day. Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco released about three minutes of the dashboard video today. The recording starts with Widner parked on the side of the road as a white Subaru Impreza passes by at 7:11 a.m. on Tuesday. Widner gives chase to pull the car over for speeding, but the driver doesn't stop. The pursuit ends about four minutes later, with the patrol car's flat tire audible over the sirens and Widner's calls to dispatchers. Widner, a six-year veteran of the Zephyrhills Police Department, was not hurt. He did not return fire. Nocco said at least 20 shots were fired from the Subaru at Widner. Police say the crime spree by the Dougherty siblings began just a day after Ryan Dougherty was sentenced to 12 years of probation on Volusia County charges of lewd and lascivious conduct involving a victim younger than 16 and sending harmful material to a minor. Ryan Dougherty had been arrested in June 2009, after Volusia deputies learned he had exchanged nearly 400 sexually explicit text messages with an 11-year-old girl, according to court records. A day after being sentenced, Ryan Dougherty cut off his ankle monitor bracelet, investigators say and, around 7 a.m. Tuesday, was with his siblings in the white Subaru. Investigators say they have received several leads that the Doughertys' vehicle was spotted in Forsyth, Ga., and Chattanooga, Tenn., after the bank robbery.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.