Tampa officer escapes crash with minor injuries

- A man who fled the scene of an accident Wednesday evening was chased down and arrested by the same officer he hit.

According to Tampa Police, Office Nate Toole, a SWAT member, was driving north on 34th Street, near 28th Avenue, around 6 p.m., when a gray Nissan drove through a stop sign, colliding with Toole's unmarked SUV.

Toole turned on his police lights as the vehicles hit, but to his surprise, the other driver then hopped out of his car and took off running.

"I knew there was probably a reason why he ran," said Toole. He pushed open his mangled door and chased the suspect.

Toole caught up to him a block and a half down the road, where Wilder Dumeus, 28, was found hiding behind a shed. "He was slurring his words. He immediately told me that he didn't know I was the police, and he ran because he had a warrant," said Toole.

Once Dumeus was put in handcuffs and searched, Toole discovered he had crack cocaine, marijuana, pills and a handgun with the serial number scraped off.

Officers later discovered a passenger, 32-year-old Christopher Cherubin, in the abandoned vehicle. He appeared to be under the influence and also had drugs in his possession.

Cherubin was taken to the hospital with injuries but is expected to be OK.

Toole suffered minor cuts on his leg and arm.

The incident was the first accident he'd ever been in, both in his professional and personal life. "All I thought it is, 'I'm about to hit something...brace,'" said Toole.

Both Dumeus and Cherubin were taken into custody and are each facing multiple charges.

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