ODESSA (FOX 13) - Pasco County deputies say a suspected DUI driver sped away from them at speeds over 100 miles per hour and, at times, was going the wrong way with his lights off.
Fortunately, no one was hurt and deputies were eventually able to get him off the road. Deputies say there's no doubt that other drivers could have easily been killed.
Sunday night around 11:30, deputies say a white Lincoln Town Car caught Corporal Adam Cinelli's attention.
"I noticed a car pull rapidly out from the right lane and then cut off another car in the right lane and immediately accelerate," Cinelli recalled.
He began to follow, picking up speed.
"When I got up to about 90 miles per hour, I was still not making any distance on him," Cinelli said. "We were pretty much pacing at that point."
At State Road 54 and Gunn Highway, Cinelli activated his lights and sirens, but the driver only went faster. Two fellow deputies, farther east, got word of the pursuit.
"We were ready for them to come our way," said Dep. Michael Jenkins.
"We stopped our car by the Suncoast and tried to get our stop sticks out so we could be prepared," said FTO Richard Kane.
At this point, deputies say the driver, Miquel Manriquez pulled into a neighborhood, made a circle, and came back out on SR 54, driving east in the westbound lanes with his lights off.
"One of the deputies said he kind of threaded the needle between two cars going the opposite direction on 54," Cinelli said. "Eventually, he made it to the correct side of the road, lost control while he was trying to pass a vehicle, and ended up in a ditch where he fled from the vehicle."
When deputies finally got to him at Crossings Boulevard, they say his eyes were bloodshot, he smelled of alcohol, and had open containers in his car.
"When I made a comment about the speed to somebody else, he laughed about doing 106 miles an hour," Cinelli said. "At that speed, there's no doubt in my mind there would've been a fatal incident had he hit anything."
After Manriquez refused field sobriety and breath tests, deputies lifted him up from the ground and brought him to the backseat of a cruiser. It was all over and thankfully, no one was hurt.
"[He had] no regard for anyone other than himself," Cinelli said. "I believe the only thing he cared about on Sunday night was getting away from us, not getting arrested again. Didn't care about any of us, didn't care about anyone else on the road, especially if he's turning off his lights and going against traffic. The only person he cared about in this particular incident was himself and it was evident by his actions."
Manriquez faces a long list of charges including fleeing to elude, DUI, and driving with a license suspended or revoked. The 28-year-old documented gang member was also arrested on outstanding warrants out of Citrus and Pinellas counties.