SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - 9 Investigates learned a chase that ended in a crash near Casselberry, sending an innocent mother and daughter to the hospital, reached speeds of around 90 miles per hour.
Investigative reporter Karla Ray learned part of the April chase was caught on cameras throughout the city of Winter Park, including red light cameras.
The incident happened in April after an armed robbery at a chiropractic office in Winter Park.
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The Winter Park police chief determined that although the pursuit of the suspect was justified under city policy, at times one officer was just too fast and too close, putting the public at risk.
Red light camera video from the intersection of Aloma and Lakemont in Winter Park first shows officers driving with lights and sirens westbound in the direction of an armed robbery suspect.
Investigators believe the man they were trying to catch, 27-year-old Andrake Bryant Jr., had just robbed a chiropractor at gunpoint in the middle of the day.
A few minutes later, the same camera caught the suspect in a stolen truck, driving in the opposite direction of officers, and swerving into oncoming traffic lanes before turning on to Lakemont. Investigators say Officer Aaron Stephenson was not far behind, and other officers also crossed the median to follow.
Two minutes later, investigators say Bryant crashed into an innocent mother and daughter and then jumped out of the stolen pickup and ran away.
An internal affairs investigation found that when the crash happened, both Stephenson and the suspect were driving approximately 50 miles per hour over the posted speed limits. At one point, internal affairs investigators noted, the pursuit was pushing 90 miles per hour.
Internal affairs investigators found Stephenson was close enough to the impact of the crash that airborne debris struck his vehicle with enough force to crack the windshield and dent his hood, with less than two seconds of delay time.
Even though other officers were involved in the chase, Stephenson was considered the lead and was just ordered to undergo more training.
The mother and daughter who were hurt in the crash spent time in the hospital but are doing OK now. Bryant is due back in court for a status hearing this month.
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