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14-043 Deputy And K-9 Partner Apprehend Suspects In Two Overnight Cases; One Of Them Resulting In Injury To Deputy

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Patrol Operations Bureau
-North District Patrol
-Canine Unit
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Burglary & Pawn Unit

Deputy Jacob Viano
Date of Hire: 11/06/2000
K-9 Chief

Attempt Vehicle Burglary Case:
Justin A. Nicholas (Arrested)
DOB: 12/19/1988
Address: 723 Riveridge Drive, Tarpon Springs
Arrested for six counts attempted burglary, grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding, DWLS/R and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage.

Resisting Arrest & Battery on LEO Case:
Deputy Jana Demperio (Injured)
Age: 46
Date of Hire: 09/25/2000

Jacob Patrick Torrens (Arrested)
DOB: 11/15/1995
Address: 956 Franklin Court, Palm Harbor
Arrested for resisting arrest with violence and battery on law enforcement officer.

Canine Unit Deputy Jacob Viano and his K-9 partner Chief, successfully apprehended two subjects overnight on two separate incidents, one of which resulted in injury to another deputy.

Deputies responded to the incidents overnight on March 15, 2014. Deputies responded to the attempted vehicle burglary call at about 3:09 a.m; and the battery on a LEO incident at 2:00 a.m..

Deputies responded to the area of Forest Grove Boulevard and County Road 1 in Palm Harbor on the attempted vehicle burglary call.

Deputies responded to 1121 McLean Street in Dunedin on the incident that resulted in a battery on LEO call.

Attempted Vehicle Burglary Case Summary:
Deputies initially responded to the area of Forest Grove Boulevard and County Road 1 reference a vehicle burglary. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office member, who lives in the area, was alerted to the activity by her dog barking. She observed the subject, later identified as 25-year-old Justin A. Nicholas, fleeing from the area in a gray pickup. Through their investigation, deputies were able to determine that Nicholas had attempted to enter at least six vehicles in the area.

Deputies began circling the area and spotted the suspect vehicle. A deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop at which time the suspect cut across County Road 1, drove through a retention pond and crashed into a mailbox on Stonehenge Way.

The suspect then exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Deputy Jacob Viano and his K-9, Chief, initiated a track over several fences and successfully located the suspect hiding under a vehicle in front of 1450 Saddle Drive. Nicholas was taken into custody. The vehicle driven by the suspect was stolen from Tarpon Springs. The registered owner of the vehicle was notified.

Nicholas was arrested on six-counts attempted burglary, grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding, driving with license suspended/revoked, and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. He was transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.

The investigation continues.

Resisting Arrest & Battery on LEO Case Summary:
Deputies initially responded to a domestic related call outside the home at 1121 McClean Street in Dunedin. Deputies say while Deputy Jana Demperio was attempting to take the intoxicated subject into custody, the suspect resisted by pushing and pulling away. Deputies say the suspect identified as 18-year-old Jacob P. Torrens, struck the deputy in the arm breaking free from her hold. Deputy Demperio fell onto the sidewalk sustaining injuries (broken leg). A second deputy who assisted was not injured.

After breaking free the suspect ran eastbound on Mclean. Deputy Viano and K-9 Chief responded and tracked the suspect and located him about a block a way hiding behind a wall. K-9 Chief apprehended the suspect, who continued to be non-compliant. Torrens sustained lacerations to his arms and legs; and sustained a bump on his head. He was transported by ambulance to Mease Duneding Hospital for tratment of non-life threatening injuries. He was later transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident. He was arrested for Battery on Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting arrest without violence.

The investigation continues.

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