Police officer injured after suspect allegedly crashes into ATV

St. Petersburg Police Department photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – An officer was taken to the hospital Monday after a suspect struck his ATV, the St. Petersburg Police Department said.

Police said officers were trying to conduct a traffic stop because of seat belt violations at 4th Avenue South and 5th Street just after 4 p.m. “The car didn’t stop, and instead sped up, but the officers didn’t pursue,” police said.

Police said the officers stopped driving.

The vehicle kept traveling north, ran a red light, and hit the police ATV at 5th and 1st Avenue South, according to the department. The ATV had been traveling eastbound on 1st Avenue South. The injured officer suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Bayfront Health.

That officer is a 26-year veteran of the department.

Two suspects jumped out of the vehicle and ran, police said. Officers were able to catch the suspects and take them into custody, police said. Police said there were narcotics and two handguns in the suspects’ vehicle. “One of the guns was reported stolen in a residential burglary on April 13,” police said.

The driver of that car sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the hospital, police said. He has been identified as Joshua Malone, 27. He’s charged with fleeing to elude, leaving the scene of a crash involving injury, driving with a suspended or revoked license, grand theft of a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine) with the intent to sell, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance (liquid THC).

“The passenger was initially detained, questioned, and has been released at this time,” police said.

The police ATV is a Polaris model. Today was the vehicle’s first day on the street. It had 10 miles and cost around $20,000. Police said it’s a complete loss.

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