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Clearwater Man Accused of Trying to Choke Deputy

Pinellas Crime | Local News | TB Reporter

Pinellas County deputies say they arrested a Clearwater man Saturday (March 21) after he struck a deputy several times and choked him.

PINELLAS COUNTY – Deputy Jason Fineran was on patrol inside the Leisure World Mobile Home Park about 2:30 a.m. Saturday (March 21) when he saw a man riding a bicycle without lights in the area of 60th Street N and  137th Street N.

Fineran got out of his patrol car and tried to stop the man for the bicycle violation, deputies say. The man tried to leave and ignored commands to speak with the deputy. To try keeping the man from leaving, deputies say Fineran grabbed the man’s left hand. The man struck Fineran with his fist, causing a laceration above the deputy’s left eye. Fineran was able to radio for assistance and continued attempts to take the man into custody. The man resisted violently and at one point in the altercation wrapped his inner thighs around Fineran’s neck reducing his ability to breath, deputies say. Upon the arrival of back up deputies it was necessary to deploy an electronic control weapon and use multiple deputies to take the suspect into custody.

Deputies arrested Justin McGirt, 18, of 6006 137th Terr. N, Clearwater, and charged him with attempted homicide on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

Fineran, 30, was taken to a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation is continuing. For information, see

Pinellas County Sheriff | Pinellas County Crime | Clearwater

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