Police Chase Hits 90 Mph With Toddler In Stolen Car

Police say that Derrick Mims was driving in a stolen vehicle as he tried to elude police in a high-speed chase. His 2-year-old was in the car.

ST. PETERSBURG – A 2-year-old boy was injured in a speed-chase, when his father allegedly tried to elude police in a stolen vehicle.

Derrick Mims, 21, will be charged with grand theft auto, fleeing and eluding police and child endangerment, all felonies, according to Gulfport Police Chief Robert Vincent.

The driver led a Gulfport police officer on a chase, reaching speeds up to 90 mph on Interstate 275 before exiting into a residential neighborhood in St. Petersburg and crashing into a PSTA bus, according to Chief Vincent.

Vincent says the driver had three passengers in the stolen rental including his 2-year-old son. The toddler was discovered in the car after the crash and was taken to All Children's Hospital.

Vincent says Officer Kellington was not aware that a child was in the stolen Toyota.

The driver, Mims, was treated for minor injuries at a hospital. The front seat passenger was being treated for serious injuries as of 9 p.m. Monday night.

A third passanger was seen fleeing the crash. He is being described as a black male, 20-25 years old, wearing a ball cap, red t-shirt and blue jean shorts.

Timeline of the pursuit:

Vincent says the driver, Mims, was spotted in a stolen rental vehicle by Officer Jesse Kellington just before 6 p.m. Monday night near Newton Ave and 51st St. S. When the officer tried to stop the vehicle, the driver fled, and led the officer on a high-speed chase on Interstate 275.

The driver exited at the 28th St. S. exit and slowed down to 40 miles per hour but did not stop, according to Vincent.

Additional officers and a helicopter were enroute to help when the driver crashed into a PSTA bus at 11th Ave S and 25th St. S. in St. Petersburg. The bus then crashed into an apartment building in Jordan Park. No one was injured in the building and it is not known of the apartment was empty at the time of the crash, according to Chief Vincent.

Six people, including the driver, were on board the bus. The driver was taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

Stolen rental car:

The vehicle was reported stolen to St. Petersburg Police on Sunday July 8 around 1:30 a.m. from a house on 3rd Avenue North. Tiffany Grimes, of Gulfport, rented the Toyota through Avis Car Rental and parked the car at a friends house. Grimes, left the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked, according to St. Petersburg Police. Police say she was in the house for about 10 minutes and when she came back out, the rental was gone.

Ongoing investigation:

The St. Petersburg Police Department will investigate the traffic crash. The Gulfport Police Department will conduct a pursuit review as standard procedure.

Gulfport officers are authorized to pursue when they have reason to believe the driver of a vehicle has committed a forcible felony. Burglary is a forcible felony that is a lesser-included offense associated with grand theft auto, according to Vincent.

CJ July 16, 2012 at 07:13 PM
The poor business owners in this area and the way the cops leave them hanging out to dry. I can think of ''many'' local stores I would shop at if it was not risky just being in the parking lots. Another example. We have seen ''many'' very good write ups on how good the food is at Mid Peninsula Seafood, on 49th. I could list endless other stores, but the point is...when you read the ''reviews'' of many businesses for this area...most of them have comments added such as ''be sure to lock you doors'' or''don't come at night'' or ''stay away Friday and Saturdays''. Nice. I know many smart alecks out there probably want to reply back to me and say something cute, such as ''welcome to Florida''. It's not funny, folks. What a shame so many people here fail to grasp and focus on what a paradise it is here. The level of expectation needs to rise of what we expect and demand in police protection. We pay thier salaries. They work for us. We can help them by not jumping down thier throat when a chase goes bad. No wonder crime is out of control here and the cops seems to consider the area as ''the new ghetto''. It's no longer just up around Campbell Park anymore. The Hood has it's sights set on Gulfport.
CJ July 16, 2012 at 07:13 PM
When this trouble get thick over in St Pete's Beach, etc...the whole area will be erased form travel books and people warned to stay away. Then they might as well paint everything red and call it hell. If they don't get a grip real fast on the local crime, then they are making thier own bed on this. At some point it can reach a point of no return. Time to make an ''The End Is Near'' sign? Support strong police presense, don't push it away.
Juju Stevens July 16, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I'm not quite that paranoid about some of the issues this crime causes (but again 20 years in New Orleans makes one a little jaded in many ways). That said, until both police departments work together to clean up the crime on 49th and Gulfport Blvd, it's going to be an issue. GPD is awesome; I see them making their presence known in those blocks in all 4 directions, at all hours of the day and night. I can't say as I've ever seen St. Pete police in that area.
CJ July 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
When you said you had only lived here 10 years and was also new here..at first I thought you were mocking me..lol. However I realize you are sincere. the funny thing is that techically I am not sure my neighborhood is even ''bad''. We ''are'' new...by anyones defintion. One thing I have noticed weired about Florida in general is that you can drive along virtually any road here as pass from good neighborhood, to bad neighborhood, to a good one...over and over. It still seems to be back to the police busting crime as they see it instead of allowing drug houses to carry on so openly. I agree with your idea of bigger guns and faster crimes. The cops seem to have thier hands full here, but whne you can persnally see a house operate openly week after week, then it is hard to validate any excuse for the cops allowing that. They may be busy, but not ''that'' busy. I dunno..maybe the jail is simply not big enough. Seriously..that could be the problem. I live right along a bus route, so like most of those, it's not too bad along them...but one block away is a different story. The same is true for almost everwhere you go here. Besides that shooting, in the 3 moths we have been here, we have had a head on collision right of front of our home and one of the cars alomst wiped my house out. We have had some expensive things stolen, I've tighted up the ship, things are better now..but it has been a wild strart. It is amazing how fast cars, even cop cars, race down the bus routes. 75plus mph.
Juan Happicampa July 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM
On July 3 about 10pm I heard the punks at the Quik Stop on 15th ave and 49th setting off their fireworks in the parking lot. The punks could either be patrons or employees, same old same. I go outside to observe them shooting the rockets across 49th into Gulfport and my direction. In the past they have shot them so far that they start my grass on fire. That night they decided to attach an explosive device to a box on the light pole in the parking lot, well it blew up like a bomb, disbursing shrapnel into 49th street. I call the SPD non-emergency number to inform them, and the dispatch cruisers. Two officer walk over to the box and examine it but fail to see the metal shrapnel in the street, so I hit redial, tell the dispatcher about the metal that the bike just hit in the street, and she tells me that the officers on the scene can not find the damaged box. I'm standing on the sidewalk as the officers walk from the box they were examining into the street and pick up the foot long metal piece, but dispatcher says, that the officers could not located the damaged lightpole box as I'm watching them opening up the twisted cover. Of course by that time the punks had gotten into their cars, boom-boxes blasting away and took off. Crime of hit-n-run, smash-n-grab are mostly unsolvable. We need surveillance cameras around here and we need then now, if either of these City's want to solve the majority of problems that have turned 49th street into a combat zone.


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