Police Blotter

Sheriff Reports Deputy Suffered No Injuries After Running Over Beachgoers on Social Distancing Patrol

PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA- The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department is reporting today that Deputy Natasha Hindman was in fine condition after driving over a man lying on the beach during a social distancing patrol.   The incident happened when  Hindman, 27, a two-year veteran of the department was patrolling the beach, enforcing social distancing rules when she ran over the 66-year-old man who was sunbathing on the beach.

“Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) are investigating a traffic crash involving an Indian Shores police officer who drove over a man lying on the beach in Indian Shores,” the department said.  “The crash occurred at about 5:53 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020, south of the 193rd Avenue Beach Access in Indian Shores.”

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Here’s how it happened

Deputies assigned to the Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) are investigating a traffic crash involving an Indian Shores police officer who drove over a man lying on the beach in Indian Shores.   On May 8, 2020 at about 5:53 p.m. investigators say 27-year-old Officer Natasha Hindman was driving a fully marked 2018 Ford Explorer police cruiser. Officer Hindman drove west on the 193rd Avenue beach access and onto the beach in Indian Shores.

According to investigators, Officer Hindman turned southwest and had just started her beach patrol. As Officer Hindman drove along the sand at low speed, the left side tires of her cruiser drove over the hips of 66-year-old William Koziarz, who was lying on the sand.  Officer Hindman stopped and immediately rendered aid until paramedics arrived. Koziarz was transported to Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Officer Hindman was not injured in the incident. Investigators say neither speed nor impairment were factors in the crash. The investigation continues.

James McLynas, who is running for the Sheriff’s job in the county responded to the incident, “Have we had enough of over-policing yet? Great idea having 250 officers riding around on Pinellas Beaches Sheriff Gualtieri. Police literally ran over 66-year-old William Koziarz, who was lying on the sand.”

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