Reckless Driver Arrested and Charged with Fleeing from Police

This notice is archived content and this information may no longer be accurate.
DATE/TIME: 2/23/2011 @ 11:26 PM

INCIDENT: Fleeing to Elude Traffic Crash (Leaving the scene) / Possession of Marijuana

LOCATION: E. Lake Ave & N 42nd St

SUSPECT: Tucker, Rudolph III, DOB: 06/01/77, 1321 E Norfolk St, Tampa, FL

SUSPECT VEHICLE: Silver 2002 Buick 4 door, FL Tag # PT85X


ROC Officers in an undercover police vehicle observed a silver Buick driving in a reckless manner in the area of Columbus Drive and 46th St. They attempted to conduct a traffic stop. The vehicle immediately fled and the officers turned off their emergency equipment. A pursuit was not initiated, but the officers notified air service and watched the vehicle from a distance of approximately 1/2 mile as it subsequently entered on I-4 westbound from 50th St. Other members of the ROC Squad were on 22nd Ave. and observed the suspect vehicle exit the interstate on this same street. Undercover police vehicles followed from a distance but never re-engaged the suspect vehicle. Air service picked the vehicle up as it was traveling east on Lake Avenue at a high rate of speed.

After crossing 40th Street, the vehicle hit a power pole and crashed at the intersection of N 42nd Street. The vehicle caught on fire as a result of the crash and the defendant Tucker fled on foot from the vehicle. Air service maintained visual contact with the defendant and a K-9 officer was summoned. The defendant was subsequently taken into custody hiding in a retention pond on the south side of Garden of Memories Cemetery.

He was charged with Fleeing to Elude, Reckless Driving, Leaving the Scene of a Crash, and Possession of Marijuana. The defendant was recently released from prison and he is a prolific felony offender with 30 prior arrests.

The defendant complained of a possible broken ankle as he was being transported to booking and he was taken to TGH for medical clearance.

TECO is on scene repairing the power pole. Power will be out for the intersection of Lake and 40th east to 42nd St. till approximately 6 am. Currently, officers are manning the intersection of 40th & Lake until temporary stop signs are in place for east and west Lake Ave.

Lt. Lee Bercaw
Tampa Police Department