Police search for chase suspect in Sweetwater

All-out search for driver who fled police in traffic stop

Published On: Jan 02 2012 11:39:40 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2012 12:44:10 PM EST
SWEETWATER, Fla. -

Authorities in Sweetwater are searching Monday for a man they said fled from police causing a chain-reaction crash that injured an officer and one other person.

Police said after a traffic stop, two men in a black Mercedes got out of the car. One of the men, Felipe Aaron Torrealba, 22, changed his mind, jumped back in the car and took off.

Sweetwater police said the officer who stopped them saw Torrealba reach for a gun, prompting him to fire shots at the fleeing car. Minutes later the driver crashed into several other vehicles—one flipped over, and another a mangled mess of metal.

The driver ran, leaving his car dotted with bullet holes in the windshield.

Heavily armed SWAT team members and police canvassed the neighborhood looking for the driver.

Police said everyone walked away without being seriously hurt. The driver is still at large late Monday afternoon.

Traffic on the Tamiami Trail from 99th Avenue to 109th Avenue was diverted for most of the day.  Eastbound lanes were back open by 5 p.m.