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New Port Richey officer arrested for eluding

Posted at 6:40 AM, Mar 29, 2016

A New Port Richey officer and his girlfriend were arrested in Hernando County on charges of fleeing from a deputy on Thursday morning.

Francis Downey and Tiffany Brush were spotted by the deputy going more than 85 mph in a 50 mph zone. This occurred near Cortez and Deltona Boulevards.

The Hernando County deputy activated his emergency lights, and that's when both motorcycles sped up, according to the report. The deputy reported Brush accelerated to 120 mph in an apparent attempt to flee. The report said Downey got out of range too fast for the radar to process how fast he was driving.

The deputy disengaged, but Brush crashed at Cortez Boulevard and Winter Street and ran from the scene. Running the registration led the deputy to Brush, who was receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.

Brush confirmed her boyfriend was operating the other motorcycle but was scared to tell the deputy since her boyfriend was a New Port Richey police officer.

Brush said she was trying to keep up with Downey but crashed after losing control of her motorcycle.

Deputies arrested Downey after connecting the motorcycle to him via his Facebook page and registration information. He faces two charges: Speeding (86 in a 50) and fleeing to elude.

New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart said this is Downey's first law enforcement job and said he has no disciplinary record with the department.

"I have nothing bad to say about his work ethic," the chief said, "He is well respected and liked around the department."

Chief Bogart said they are still reviewing the details of the case but said one of his officers running from a cop is unacceptable.

"That's serious," Bogart said. "Where does the respect start. We're building this agency to be stellar and something like this could bring a pretty serious cloud over us."

Downey has been with the department since December 2014.