A Florida driver was stopped from potentially mowing down joggers during the Coffee Pot Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) said.
The incident happened Thursday morning as officers were parked with their emergency lights flashing near Snell Isle Boulevard bridge, Fox 13 reported Friday.
Suspect Ashlee Lauren Morgan, 38, was allegedly driving her Range Rover at 60 miles an hour, the outlet continued:
The officers stopped Morgan before she tried to pass them and drive onto the roadway where nearly 3,000 runners had begun the sold-out 5K race earlier that morning.
Morgan’s arrest report says officers asked her for her ID, but she “refused, ignored commands of ‘stop!’ and fled the scene of the stop at an extremely high rate of speed, onto the actual racecourse, further putting the lives of runners/race participants at risk.”
The suspect’s first charge was for fleeing and eluding, but her subsequent behavior earned her several other charges as well.
Officers were also forced to pepper spray the suspect in an effort to subdue her. She is facing charges of reckless driving, resisting an officer without violence, leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, and two counts of fleeing and eluding police.
When speaking of the police response, one woman told reporters, “Thankfully they’re around to do that and we have to give them a lot of credit, especially — it’s a holiday and they want to be with their families and they’re out here protecting us.”
Social media user Alan McKeeman shared video footage Friday of the Coffee Pot Turkey Trot which showed a sea of people taking off for their run and making it to the finish line:
Following the suspect’s arrest, police said, “If it were not for the officers at the intersection gaining the defendant’s attention, and forcing her to stop, she would have ignored all traffic safety obstacles strategically placed at the intersection, and barreled through the intersection causing mass casualty to race participants.”
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