Police: Driver tries to ram a New Port Richey officer's patrol car using a stolen Range Rover

Lionel Bates arrested after short pursuit on foot
Posted at 3:39 AM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 17:05:25-04

Police say a man attempting to flee from a traffic stop Tuesday night tried to ram an officer's cruiser using a stolen Range Rover.

According to New Port Richey Police, Officer Timothy Berge attempted to stop a man at 7:53 p.m. on Louisiana Avenue near Madison Street for driving a white 2015 Ranger Rover with illegal dark-tinted windows

When Officer Berge turned on his cruiser's lights, the Range Rover quickly sped off east on Louisiana Avenue at a high rate of speed.

Officer Joseph Valente was further down Louisiana Avenue driving his marked patrol car in the westbound lane.

Officer Valente reported the Range Rover driver intentionally entered the westbound lane in an attempt to crash head on into the officer's patrol car. Officer Valente swerved off the road to avoid being hit.

Police say the Range Rover then continued east on Louisiana Avenue towards Carob Drive, which is a T-intersection.

The SUV went through the intersection, first striking a bollard in the front yard of a house in the 6700 block of Carob Drive.

The Range Rover then struck a grey Toyota SUV in the driveway, just as its owners were attempting to enter their vehicle, before crashing into the concrete block wall of the garage.

A female who lives at the home suffered minor injuries in the crash.

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The driver of the Range Rover, later identified as 27-year-old Lionel Bates, ran off. Officers pursued Bates on foot and apprehended a short distance away.

Police searched the Range Rover and found cocaine, marijuana and cannabis oil, $1,115 in cash, a handgun and ammunition.

The Florida Highway Patrol determined the Range Rover had been stolen out of North Carolina in February 2015.

Bates is charged with Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer, Armed Trafficking in Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Cannabis Oil, three counts of Armed Trafficking Controlled Substance, four counts of Possession of Controlled Substance, Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Felon in Possession of Ammunition.

Additional charges are pending from the FHP.

Officers took Bates to the Pasco County Jail for booking.