Driver tries to race undercover officer on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, police say

A Tampa man is facing charges after he unknowingly baited a Clearwater police officer to race down the Courtney Campbell Causeway Friday, officials said.

Clearwater police said 20-year-old Connor Proleika tried to bait an officer into racing around 2 a.m. while driving eastbound. The arrest report states Proleika “revved his engine and took off” reaching “speeds of 124” miles per hour. 

“At 2 a.m., it doesn't surprise me. I see a lot of opportunities for that around here,” said Paul Padilla.

Other drivers told FOX 13 they’ve seen people try to bait them too.

“We constantly have people going around us or trying to bait us to race,” said Christopher Smith, who lives in Pinellas County. “Yeah, it's definitely something that happens here by the beach.”

According to the police report, Proleika told the officer he was “just trying to go fast and didn’t know I was a police officer.” He ended up being arrested for racing.

“He was just stupid. The only thing I can think of is that he was just stupid,” said Padilla. 

“That sucks for him. The law is the law at the end of the day,” said Smith.

Clearwater police said the driver was also arrested for violating probation on previous charges.