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Robbery suspect leads officers on chase, crashes stolen car in downtown Tampa

Crash happened on N. Tampa St. near I-275 ramp
Posted at 10:37 PM, Feb 24, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — Police say a robbery suspect hit three cars before crashing a car he stole in downtown Tampa.

The Tampa Police Department said Maurice Fryson did not stop when officers attempted a traffic stop near North 10th Street and East Sligh Avenue.

Officers spotted Fryson in a stolen 2004 4-door Toyota Avalon near the interstate.

"The vehicle itself is stolen, the officers were aware of that, but it also matched the description of two robberies that had just taken place," said Eddy Durkin with Tampa Police.

Officers said Fryson fled the traffic stop at a high rate of speed. He struck a Toyota Highlander and a Toyota Tacoma before ditching the stolen Toyota on North Tampa Street near the interstate ramp.

"He didn't get very far at all once he bailed out of the car. Officers were on top of him pretty quick," said Durkin.

Hillsborough County deputies said Fryson robbed an Aldi grocery store on North Florida Avenue earlier on Monday. He was armed with a gun, but no one was hurt.

Temple Terrace Police said prior to that robbery, Fryson was involved in a robbery outside a Dollar Tree on North 56th Street in Temple Terrace.

His alleged crime spree ended when he crashed near the interstate ramp in Tampa. He also hit an unmarked deputy cruiser belonging to an off-duty HCSO Colonel who was attempting to get on the interstate. No one was injured in the crash.

"We're extremely fortunate that nobody was hurt. He hit three vehicles where people could have been severely injured. Thankfully, they weren't. Our officers are trained to pursue vehicles like this and they did a great job and they were able to take him into custody," said Durking.

Detectives from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Temple Terrace Police Department joined Tampa Police detectives in interviewing Fryson.