Gulfport: Helicopter Looking for Something?

Q: What was happening Tuesday night [June 10] around 10:30? We had a helicopter with a spot-light flying around for about an hour right over us. – Angela Crouch, via Facebook

A: “The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) requested that we check an address in the 5300 block of 17th Avenue South for a subject wanted on several felony charges,” Gulfport Lieutenant Marry Farrand says. “When our officers arrived the subject ran from them so we set a perimeter and the PCSO helicopter and a PCSO K9 handler responded to the scene in an effort to locate the subject.”

Although police did not locate the subject, who is wanted for several charges of dealing in stolen property (a third degree felony) that night, Gulfport Officer Zack Mills saw the suspect, Jason Ray Burns, three days later in the Tangerine area of Gulfport. Burns fled, taking cover under the Tangerine Greenway home of an elderly couple. After the Pinellas County Sheriff Office’s K9 unit went under the home, the police arrested and charged Burns with – among other things – 28 counts of stolen property.

In an attempt to remove Burns from under the home, the police dog attacked him, leaving three bites on his arm. Burns told police he had been shot and stabbed and those bites hurt more.

Burns remained in the Pinellas County Jail at press time.

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