• Driver arrested after crashing into trooper's patrol car, trying to flee


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - An Orange County driver was arrested after the Florida Highway Patrol said he crashed into a trooper's patrol car and tried to flee.

    The crash happened shortly after noon on July 30 at the intersection of Hiawassee Road and Colonial Drive, and the incident was caught on dashcam video.

    "That could have been a minor crash where he simply side-swiped a trooper. Had he pulled over that could have been a minor infraction," said Trooper Wanda Diaz, with FHP.

    According to troopers, the driver, 21-year-old Peterson Mitchel, ran a red light and slammed into Trooper Carlos Franco-Ramos' patrol car.

    "Now it becomes an even bigger criminal offense," said Diaz.

    The driver was able to speed off and turn into a residential area. FHP said that's when Mitchel's passenger got out and ran. Moments later, the driver also got out and ran away.

    "If you do that to a marked patrol unit, we can only imagine what you're willing to do to the general public," said Diaz.

    But Franco-Ramos called for backup, pursued the suspects and was able to catch up with them quickly.

    A woman also emerged from the vehicle but didn't flee. Troopers never found the other passenger, but Mitchel was arrested and faces several charges.

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