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FHP deploys GPS tracker during pursuit of suspected DUI driver in Pasco County

Posted at 10:56 AM, Mar 22, 2019

The Florida Highway Patrol used a GPS tracking system to help another agency in a police chase in Pasco County.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper said in an arrest report that he was helping New Port Richey police in an active pursuit near State Road 52 and Hicks Road.

Authorities were pursuing Kip Thomas of New Port Richey for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and several other felonies.

During the pursuit, the trooper said that he determined that it was unsafe to deploy stop sticks to try and stop the vehicle so he used his StarChase system to deploy a GPS tracker.

The maneuver was caught on dash cam video:

FHP deploys GPS tracker during pursuit in Pasco County | Dash Cam

The system allowed for law enforcement officers to track Thomas without putting others in danger as they say the suspect at one point went in the wrong lane of traffic and drove down a center lane traveling 55 miles per hour.

Multiple agencies stayed with Thomas throughout the entire chase, but they kept their distance during the pursuit. Thomas eventually went up an exit ramp to enter the Suncoast Parkway in the wrong direction before stop sticks were deployed to stop him.

Thomas fled on foot in the Spring Hill area before K9's were brought in to search for him.

Thomas was arrested and faces charges for fleeing police, a suspended license, DUI, possession of methamphetamine and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officers.

A FHP spokesperson said they have 75 of the units in Troop C, most of them were installed in the Fall of 2018.

Troopers have only used the equipment in a handful of cases for now.