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Pinellas deputy fires on, catches stolen-car suspect

Published:   |   Updated: August 27, 2013 at 09:20 PM

A 32-year-old man is in custody after he backed a reported stolen vehicle into an unmarked patrol car, forcing a deputy to fire on the suspect’s car, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bryant A. Collins, 1111 Sunset Point Road, Clearwater, was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and driving while license suspended or revoked, the sheriff’s office said.

About 12:12 p.m. Tuesday, Deputy Ethan Taylor was near 142nd Avenue North and South Belcher Road in Largo when he ran the tag of a gray 1994 Acura and learned it was reported stolen in St. Petersburg, the sheriff’s office said. Taylor requested backup and began to follow the Acura.

Collins drove into the gas station at the corner of 142nd Avenue North and South Belcher Road, entered the store and then returned to pump gas, the sheriff’s office said.

Taylor and Deputy Lorie Fagan approached the Acura, but Collins saw the deputies, the sheriff’s office said. Collins then accelerated toward them in reverse and hit the unmarked car driven by Fagan.

Collins tried to drive away, but Taylor fired at the suspect’s vehicle, which hit a curb and drove into the retention pond, the sheriff’s office said.

There were no injuries reported.

Taylor has been placed on administrative leave. Fagan has not been placed on administrative leave, the sheriff’s office said.