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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Felon faces host of charges after fleeing on stolen motorcycle, deputies say

Hernando Today staff report

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SPRING HILL - A convicted felon from Dade City was riding a stolen Kawasaki motorcycle at 4:45 a.m. Monday in the wrong lane of traffic on Commercial Way with no license, a broken headlight, a large knife in his waistband and a Hernando County sheriff's deputy chasing him, deputies said.

He also had a brown book bag containing about a gram of methamphetamine, two small plastic baggies and a small pink plastic spoon with methamphetamine residue, 20 small plastic bags, a digital scale and five orange capped syringe needles with blood on the tips behind the needle heads, deputies said.

Clifford Allen Helton, 43, entered the wet, grassy median in an apparent attempt to continue north on U.S. 19, but lost control of the motorcycle and fell on his right side, according to an arrest report.

The deputy pursuing Helton said she had attempted to pull him over before then for the inoperable headlight on Commercial Way, but Helton increased speed south on U.S. 19, and turned onto Osowaw Boulevard, according to the report.

That's when the deputy activated her lights, the report shows, and Helton looked back at her, slowed to the right of way, but then sped instead east onto Tarpon Boulevard back to U.S. 19.

After sliding on his side through the grassy median Helton got up, deputies said.

"He stood to his feet and began to fumble for an unknown object in the front waist area of his person," the deputy wrote. "(Helton) was taken into custody after which a search of his person revealed a silver 7" knife with a 3" blade concealed inside of a nylon sheath in his front pant waistband."

Deputies also found burglary tools in Helton's book bag, including two hand-held flashlights, a headband flashlight, a metal file, and two picking tools, according to the report.

The arrest report shows Helton signed a sworn written statement admitting to knowingly being in possession of a stolen vehicle.

Jail records show he was charged with fleeing to elude an officer, grand theft, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a weapon by a felon, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia, and knowingly driving with a suspended or revoked license.

He was held at Hernando County Jail on $29,000 bond.

The arrest report states Helton was convicted of dealing in stolen property in 1999, and had his license suspended indefinitely in 2009.

The motorcycle he was driving was reported stolen out of Pasco County, the report states.

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