PORT EVERGLADES (CBS4) — A man who blew through a Port Everglades checkpoint was taken into custody after a chase involving a Broward Sheriff’s deputy came to a crashing end.
According to BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella, 20-year old Jackson Tiger Richardson ran a checkpoint just before 6 a.m. in a late model red Dodge Challenger.
“At that point we have a deputy that’s stationed right inside the checkpoint, (he) witnesses the security breach and immediately takes off after the vehicle,” said Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti.
The pursuit came to a crashing end when Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick’s cruiser deputy careened into the Challenger near cruise ship terminal 21, about a mile from the port’s main entrance.
“The sergeant smartly and bravely rammed his vehicle to stop that vehicle and the threat,” said Moschella.
Both Fitzpatrick and Richardson were taken to Broward General Medical Center where they were treated for their injuries.
America’s ports and airports are on a heightened alert after U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
“Our personnel here at the port is always at a heightened state of awareness, they’re always vigilant, everything worked as it should have,” said Moschella. “When the man came through that gate they immediately started pursuit and they immediately stopped him.”
Moscella said Richardson actually crashed two security gates before he was stopped.
“So at that point the vehicle actually makes access onto the dock where the cruise ship is getting ready to pull in,” said Lamberti.
The Coral Princess cruise ship, which was supposed to dock at terminal 22, was moved to terminal 29.
“I have to tell you, if this incident would have happened last week this would have ended very differently probably fatally,” said Lamberti.
That’s because last week was Fleet Week and the docks were filled with thousands of sailors and dozens of ships.
Once Richardson was stopped, the car was searched for weapons and explosives – none was found. The car itself, however, came as being stolen from Jovanni Spencer of Miramar.
As to why he crashed the gates, Moschella said they are still trying to figure that out.
“We don’t know where he was headed or what his goal was,” said Moschella.
Richardson was charged with fleeing a law enforcement officer, trespassing and possession of a stolen vehicle.