Chase, arrest caught on Pasco deputies' body cams

- Deputies chased a "drugged out" DUI suspect through busy streets in Pasco County, and their body cameras caught it all, according to Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The pursuit started at around 6:15 Monday evening when a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper tried to pulled over Christopher Conti for driving a landscaping truck with a cracked windshield.

The trooper said Conti would not stop and Pasco County deputies gave chase.

"There are very dangerous situations and we have to make life and death decisions," Nocco said during a news conference Tuesday.

The body cameras on several deputies recorded the pursuit as deputies followed Conti down Little Road, State Road 54 and Trinity Boulevard. The sheriff said Conti, 46, rammed his vehicle into two cruisers, causing one of them to spin out.

Authorities had to use stop sticks and eventually forced Conti out of the truck.

After he was handcuffed, he could be heard on one of the body camera recordings telling deputies, "I'm drugged out of my mind."

"When somebody's on drugs, you never know how they're going to react, so we had to take every precaution to get this person in custody as quickly as possible," Nocco said, adding Conti is lucky he didn't kill anyone. "You have a person who's drugged out of his mind driving a 5,000 pound vehicle. That's like somebody running through a mall with a gun, waving it; you don't know, these are very dangerous people."

Logan Templeton witnessed the chase and recorded part of it using his mobile phone.

"You're risking your life. You're risking people's lives. You're risking police officers' lives," Templeton said, referring to the driver. "I'm very glad they caught him. I was like, 'man, I hope they get him.'"

Deputies said they found drugs and drug-related items in and around Conti's vehicle.

Conti has been arrested at least five other times. He's charged in this case with aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer and will also face DUI and fleeing to elude charges.

FOX 13 News called a phone number connected to the landscaping truck he was driving. The woman who answered identified herself as the mother of Conti's child and said he has a bad drug problem that, unfortunately, came to a head Monday.

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