Cops: Clearwater man joined high-speed chase, crashed into officer’s cruiser

Charles Long, Pinellas County Jail booking photo

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) — The bizarre story of a Clearwater couple who police say lied about their child being in the back of a stolen car has taken another unusual twist.

Police say a Clearwater man joined in the chase for the stolen car on Wednesday, driving his own vehicle at speeds up to 85 miles-per-hour as he swerved in and out of lanes and pacing police vehicles involved in the chase.

An arrest affidavit said that Charles William Long, 60, interfered with the police pursuit and followed directly in front of and in between police vehicles “with wanton disregard to the safety of the public.

Long’s participation in the chase ended when he followed too closely and crashed into the rear of a police cruiser.

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The arrest affidavit said that Long told officers the following: “I want to be a police officer. I wanted to be in the pursuit for you guys.”

He was arrested on a charge of reckless driving with property damage or injury. Long is retired, according to the arrest affidavit.

Police were chasing a vehicle that was reported stolen by Angelica Luz Marrero on Wednesday afternoon. Marrero told police that her 3-year-old son was inside the car, which prompted police to ask for the public’s help finding the missing child, and also prompted a search for the vehicle.

Police say Marrero later admitted to lying about her son being in the car. He was at a Pinellas Park daycare. Marrero told WFLA News Channel 8 reporter Adrienne Pedersen that she tricked police, so they would find her car faster. Police say Marrero’s car had also been stolen a few weeks ago and it took officers a while to respond.

Angelica Luz Marrero was charged with false report of a crime, misuse of 911 and posession of marijuana. The boy’s father, Nestor Gerardo Badillo was charged with false report of a crime and misuse of 911.

Stevie Gamble Jr. was charged with grand theft of a vehicle, driving without a license, fleeing or eluding at high speed and reckless driving.

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