Man arrested in Pasco after leading cops on chase through 3 counties

John Byrne, Pasco County Sheriff's Office photo

(WFLA) – A police chase spanned three Tampa Bay area counties Friday evening. It ended with a 25-year-old man’s arrest.

The chase began in Tarpon Springs. It spanned Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. The Tarpon Springs Police Department, multiple sheriffs’ offices and Florida Highway Patrol were all involved.


The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said John Byrne was arrested after the vehicle pursuit. “Byrne is a known prolific offender and Tarpon Spring Police Department located him heading North on US 19 around 6:20 p.m.,” Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies said.

Tarpon Springs police asked the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for help to conduct a felony stop.

Byrne was a passenger in the vehicle, deputies said. Near the intersection of Brinley Drive and Arelli Drive in New Port Richey, he jumped out of the vehicle, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect “fled into a swampy area near Veterans Village and Trinity West,” deputies said.

Fifteen units responded, including K9 and air officers.

Byrne then stole a minivan and tried fleeing on Lachlan Drive, deputies said. “At that time one of our deputies discharged a pistol to disable the tire. But the suspect continues to drive down SR 54 to the Suncoast and then into Hillsborough County where he spun out into a ditch on Firecracker Drive. He was then taken into custody,” deputies said.

Officials said no one was injured.

Byrne was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail. He will be extradited to Pasco County. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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