NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A New Port Richey police officer is charged with fleeing and eluding after Hernando County deputies say he sped off at over 100 miles an hour on Cortez Boulevard near Brooksville early Thursday morning.
They say the off-duty officer, 26 year-old Francis Downey, might have escaped had it not been for his riding partner, 20 year-old Tiffany Brush, who wrecked her motorcycle.
"She told the deputy in the emergency room that the person who was riding with her, she was afraid to give his name because he was a New Port Richey police officer," says Denise Moloney, spokesperson for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Once they got Downey's name, it was only a matter of hours until he turned himself in to authorities. He was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, a felony.
"This is a very serious charge and its nothing we're taking lightly," says New Port Richey Police Chief Kim Bogart. "I can't even describe how serious it is to us."
Chief Bogart says Downey is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
He's out of jail after paying $5,000 dollars bond.
Along with fleeing and eluding, Brush was also charged with possession of marijuana. She remained in jail because at the time she was already out on bail on a separate possession charge.