Clearwater man arrested after deputies chase

PINELLAS COUNTY, Florida. A Clearwater man was arrested Monday afternoon after he led a “reckless” pursuit of police officers in parts of Pinellas County, according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities said it began with a 1:46 p.m. internal call on Treasure Island at 9641 Gulf Boulevard. When officers arrived, the sheriff’s office said the suspect, 56-year-old Ronald Giovino, fired several shots at the cars and then threw his gun while running from the police.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office heard radio communications from Treasure Island officers and saw Giovino’s car near Gulf Boulevard and Peptive Circle in St. Pete Beach. Deputies tried to stop him and then pursued him as he fled, the sheriff’s office said.

Giovino was driving south on Gulf Boulevard and continued to drive “recklessly” through Pasadena and St. Petersburg, authorities said. Giovino swerved onto the grass median as he was driving north on 66th Street and crashed into a traffic sign, which fell and hit a passing car, authorities said.

After he hit the sign, the sheriff’s office reported that Giovino swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle. Authorities said that as he turned, a cruiser sitting behind him, driven by 25-year-old deputy Louis Neil III, crashed into the car.

Authorities said Deputy Neil suffered minor injuries in the accident and no one else was seriously injured. He was treated and released from the local hospital.

The deputies continued to follow Giovino down Pasadena and west to Treasure Island Road, where the deputy conducted a PIT maneuver. Giovino crashed into another car and then crashed into the vinyl fence of a house at 7923 Causeway Boulevard South.

Giovino’s car was immobilized, and he himself was taken into custody. He faces one count each of runaway and aggravated escape, one count of reckless driving with property damage, one count of driving under the influence, one count of driving under the influence during probation, and one count of resisting officer without violence.

The sheriff’s office said Treasure Island police are filing additional charges. Giovino was treated at a district hospital, then released and sent to the Pinellas County Jail.

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