Clearwater officer fears for his life, opens fire on reckless driver

Chris Chittarath, 23, faces multiple charges
Posted at 5:10 AM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 17:46:36-04

An Clearwater police officer responding to a reckless driver call near Clearwater beach ended up firing shots at the driver along Gulfview Boulevard. Police said that officer was in fear for his life, and that's why he was forced to shoot.

There are several scenes: The Holiday Inn about a two miles away, the shooting location and where the suspect was taken into custody.

Around 11 p.m. Sunday, an officer noticed the vehicle pull into the parking lot of Shephard's resort and attempted to make contact with the driver. That driver then sped off into the parking lot of the neighboring Holiday Inn. At some point, the vehicle drove over some bushes and a curb and toward the officer. Investigators tell us in fear of his life, the officer fired his weapon.

The driver then drive off from that scene across Sand Key, and was eventually stopped in Belleair.

Officers arrested the driver, 23-year-old Chris Chittarath, who now faces the following charges:

  • Aggravated assault of an LEO with a motor vehicle
  • Fleeing / eluding
  • Resisting arrest without violence
  • Driving with a suspended license

More charges are possible. 

No injuries were reported.

Police were still interviewing witnesses trying to gather information as of early Monday morning.