Man Charged After Attempting to Ram Deputies Patrol Car
BROOKSVILLE – Just before midnight on Saturday, Deputy Vincent Mascitelli was on routine patrol in the area of Star Road and Weeping Willow Street, when a grey vehicle swerved head-on towards his marked patrol car. Mascitelli turned around and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver accelerated to a high rate of speed southbound on Weeping Willow. For safety reasons, Mascitelli discontinued the pursuit but he was able to obtain the tag number, which revealed the owner of the vehicle as a Claudia Steele.
While deputies began searching the side streets between Sunshine Grove Road and Weeping Willow Street, dispatch received a call from Steele, asking for deputies to meet her at the 7-Eleven on Winter Street. Upon arrival they made contact with Steele, who appeared visibly shaken and very upset.
Steele told deputies that her boyfriend, 24-year-old Willie Joe Frazier was behind the wheel and on the phone at the time of the incident. She says, Frazier thought the patrol car was his friend that he was speaking to and then proceeded to pull towards Deputy Mascettilli patrol car, nearly striking it. When he realized it was a patrol car, Frazier said “Don’t worry” and fled the scene, according to Steele. When they reached the intersection of Montour Street and Weeping Willow Street, Frazier jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot. That’s when Steele drove to the 7-Eleven and contacted authorities.
The next day, deputies made contact with Frazier at his home on Greenwood Street, and placed him into custody without incident.
Frazier is charged with Fleeing and Eluding and Driving on a Suspended License (Habitual). In addition, Frazier is charged with Battery and Violation of an Injunction, from an unrelated incident.
Frazier remains behind bars, held on $6,000 bond.
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