According to Bureau of Justice statistics, police chases kill an average of 355 people per year. A third of those who are killed during police chases are innocent bystanders. Police are victims of deaths during chases as well – about 3 die per year. Many of these chases are instigated by non-violent crimes or traffic violations. Many police departments now have guidelines in place that cover when a suspect can be pursued and when a chase needs to be called off due to the danger it poses to the public. However, many officers do not comply with the policies that their agencies have put into place.
The Seminole Heights Patch reports on the family of a boy hit and killed by a Hillsborough Deputy calling for justice.
15-year-old Josiah Pinner was killed on January 11th as he followed a friend who was walking his bike across North Florida Avenue at East 124th Avenue.
The teen was struck and killed by an undercover Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy, 29-year-old Philip J. Montesi.
Montesi was driving an unmarked sheriff’s vehicle conducting a mobile surveillance operation when he saw Pinner’s 14-year-old friend and swerved to avoid him. The deputy did not see Pinner and struck and killed the teenager.
Pinner died at the scene.
Investigation revealed that Montesi was speeding, traveling at 66 mph in a 45 mph zone. According to the sheriff’s office, Montesi was involved in three previous crashes prior to the one that killed Pinner.
Two of the crashes were determined to be “unavoidable” and a third was deemed “excusable.”
An attorney for the Pinner family stressed that his clients are looking for answers. They have not yet decided if they will file a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department.