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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2018
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Police charge Port Richey fire chief with DUI, battery on officer

PORT RICHEY — The Port Richey fire chief crashed a motorcycle, showed signs of impairment and hit a New Port Richey police officer in the face after being taken to the hospital Sunday night, according to a police report.

Fire Chief Timothy Ollie Fussell faces charges of driving under the influence and battery on a law enforcement officer. His wife Suzanna, who arrived after he crashed, was arrested on charges of obstruction and tampering with evidence, according to the report.

About 10:30 p.m., New Port Richey fire officials responded to a single motorcycle crash in a parking lot on Madison Avenue.

Fussell. who was injured and showed signs of impairment, according to the New Port Richey Police Department report, tried to leave the scene. An officer took him to North Bay Hospital to treat him for injuries.

Suzanna Fussell, who had arrived at the crash, told her husband not to speak with investigators and had to be forcefully removed, the agency reported. She followed her husband and the officers to the hospital, and then tried to force her way into the ambulance when it arrived.

As a nurse administered an intravenous treatment and drew blood, Suzanna Fussell yelled and then snatched the tourniquet, grabbing tubes already holding her husband's blood and throwing them in the trash, police reported.

At that point, according to the report, Timothy Fussell hit an officer in the face with his left arm.

Both were booked at the Land o' Lakes Detention Center.

City Manager Vincent Lupo said about 2:45 p.m. that he had not yet discussed the charges with Fussell but was looking into the situation.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.

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