Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued January 22 at 6:42PM EST expiring January 22 at 7:45PM EST in effect for: Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Sumter
Tornado Watch issued January 22 at 6:32PM EST expiring January 22 at 10:00PM EST in effect for: Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter
Coastal Flood Statement issued January 22 at 5:01AM EST expiring January 23 at 12:15AM EST in effect for: Pinellas
High Surf Advisory issued January 22 at 5:01AM EST expiring January 24 at 1:00PM EST in effect for: Pinellas
Lake Wind Advisory issued January 21 at 2:56PM EST expiring January 23 at 7:00PM EST in effect for: DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Pinellas, Polk, Sumter
When Brenda Morales saw the small army of police officers descend on her normally quiet street, she immediately worried about the safety of her children.
"It was a scary thing," Morales said. "I told my sister to grab the kids and get in the house because I didn't know what was going to happen."
Morales noticed Tampa police officers were approaching a silver Dodge Charger that was sitting conspicuously at the end of Genessee street, right next to her house.
Soon after, Morales realized the car was empty, and police had caught a suspect a block north at 39th and Genessee.
"It's kind of sad because kids are all out here playing and that was our concern," said Morales, who believed if the police chase happened in the afternoon there would have been children all over the street.
"This was coming from another neighborhood. They brought it to our neighborhood," Morales said.
She was right. The police chase originally started near the intersection of Hillsborough Ave. and 30th St. on Tampa's east side. Officers used the technique of "boxing in" a car as they tried to arrest Jaime Parchmon, 29, on suspicion of selling stolen guns.
But Parchmon refused to go quietly. He ended up ramming his way out of the blockade, nearly running over a veteran police officer in the process.
"The suspect looked him straight in the eye and he knew he was not going to stop," said Jane Castor, Tampa Chief of Police.
Capt. Steve Hartnett, 50, was hit by Parchmon's car as he barreled his way through the police cruisers.
"The suspect rammed Capt. Hartnett's vehicle and then pulled away, striking Capt. Hartnett and knocking him to the roadway," Castor said. But Hartnett was fortunate to have been able to avoid a much worse fate.
"It he hadn't pushed himself out of the way he would have been run over," Castor said.
Hartnett was treated for injuries to his lower back and knee, and was released from the hospital.
The suspect, however, paid a more serious price for his alleged actions. Police fired several rounds at Parchmon's Charger as it took off down the street, and one of the bullets struck him in the shoulder.
Parchmon drove to the dead end of Genesee before getting out on foot. He was captured soon after.
"Just the thought of hearing gunshots right in front of my house kind of creeps me out," said Nikki Smith, a mother of four whose house was right next to the suspect's abandoned vehicle.
"I'm in shock," Smith said, after realizing there were bullet holes peppering the back of the Dodge.
Parchmon was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries from the gunshot wound. He was released into police custody and faces charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and eluding police.
Parchmon has been to prison twice and has a criminal record that included arrests for grand theft, carjacking, and robbery.