M.A.I.T. Crash Investigation

Who:
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
- Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.)
- Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF)
- Flight Unit

St. Petersburg Police Department

Gulfport Police Department

Officer Justin Guillory (Injured Driver)
Gulfport Police Department
Date of Hire: 02/21/2017
Vehicle: 2017 Dodge Charger – Gulfport marked police vehicle

Rodney A. Foster (Injured Driver - Arrested)
DOB: 07/30/1981
Address: 2737 Walden Woods Drive, Plant City
Vehicle: 2004 Chevrolet Malibu
Citation and Charges: Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Driving, Habitual Driving While License Suspended (DWLSR), and Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash with Property Damage

Vehicle: 2016 Dodge Journey (unoccupied)  

What:
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) are investigating a crash involving a Gulfport Police Officer.

When:
The crash occurred at about 1:03 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

Where:
The crash occurred near the intersection of 56th Street South and Gulfport Boulevard South in Gulfport.

Why/How:
Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (M.A.I.T.) are investigating a crash involving a Gulfport Police Officer.

According to investigators, on November 1, 2017 at about 12:52 a.m., a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to perform a traffic stop on a dark-colored Chevrolet Malibu on Pinellas Bayway South for speeding. The vehicle fled eastbound from the traffic stop towards St. Petersburg. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Flight Unit was requested for assistance to locate the suspect vehicle. The deputy did not pursue the vehicle and returned to normal operation.

Shortly after, the Flight Unit spotted the suspect vehicle heading northbound at 54th Avenue North and 34th Street North. Members of the Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) responded to assist in locating the suspect vehicle.  

A VCTF member located the suspect vehicle and attempted to perform a second traffic stop on the vehicle, but the vehicle fled from the traffic stop at a high rate of speed. A pursuit was not initiated after this attempted traffic stop.

The suspect vehicle was then seen again near the intersection of 8th Avenue South and 49th Street South by a St. Petersburg Police Officer.

At approximately 1:03 a.m., Gulfport Police Officer Justin Guillory was on routine patrol in his 2017 Dodge Charger, a marked Gulfport police vehicle.  Officer Guillory made a U-turn on 56th Street South heading southbound toward Gulfport Boulevard South. As Officer Guillory passed an alleyway just north of Gulfport Boulevard South on 56th Street South, the passenger side of his police vehicle was struck by the front passenger side of the suspect vehicle as it turned northbound on 56th Street South from the alleyway.

The impact of the crash caused Officer Guillory’s police vehicle to swerve, and his vehicle struck a 2016 Dodge Journey that was parked along the eastside of 56th Street South. Officer Guillory’s police vehicle and the Dodge Journey sustained heavy front end damage.

The driver of the suspect vehicle exited his vehicle and fled the scene of the crash on foot. Members of VCTF were able to find the driver and place him under arrest without further incident.

The driver of the suspect vehicle was identified as 36-year-old Rodney Foster.

Officer Guillory and Foster were transported to Bayfront Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officer Guillory was released from Bayfront Hospital after a medical evaluation.

Foster was released from Bayfront Medical Hospital after a medical evaluation and was transported to the Pinellas County Jail. Foster was charged and cited with Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Driving, Habitual Driving While License Suspended (DWLSR), and Leaving the Scene of a Traffic Crash with Property Damage

Investigators say none of the vehicles were operating in emergency mode at the time of the crash.

The Violent Crimes Task Force (VCTF) is a county-wide, multi-jurisdictional task force that focuses on violent crime in Pinellas County. The task force is comprised of law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department.

The investigation continues. 


Booking photo of Foster

Posted by Jessica Mackesy Wednesday, November 1, 2017 2:43:00 PM Categories: Vehicle Crashes

Non Emergency Line: (727) 582-6200 | In an Emergency call 911