Teen in stolen truck caused 23 crashes, deputies say - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Teen in stolen truck caused 23 crashes, deputies say

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A teenager decided to trade his bike in for a stolen truck at Tint Shark in Bradenton and ended up leading deputies on a cross-county chase.

"I heard the truck start up and I followed," recalled Tint Shark employee Jeremy Chaney.

Chaney jumped in a car and gave chase. He followed the teenager and then eventually called the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

"It is pretty bizarre though. We haven't had anything like this that I can recall and I've been here a long time," said sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Deputies chased the teen but then backed off when it got too dangerous. He made a loop starting on Cortez, going over the bridge into Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach. He then drove over the Manatee Bridge onto 43rd Street, ending up back on Cortez.

"He wanted to go on a joy ride, but that was one heck of a joy ride," offered Bristow.

It is a joy ride that caused 23 crashes all along the way.

"We are very fortunate that no one was injured, but we knew we had to get him because he was driving erratically," Bristow continued.

While no one was injured, many were shaken up.

"The next thing I knew -- boom! A truck flew right past me. My hair went flying and everything," said Preston Pollock.

Pollock was walking home and said the teen missed him by only inches.

"I saw him go over the bridge recklessly, went past everybody, turned onto oncoming traffic, went about half way. Looked like he veered into oncoming traffic," he said.

After all the damage the teen did, many are relieved to be OK.

"I am one of the most luckiest people I could say," Pollock added.

The crashes spanned across four different law enforcement jurisdictions. Deputies say the 16-year-old faces a long list of charges, including grand theft, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of every crash.

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