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Partnership Policing Communications Coordinator (PIO)
Genevieve Judge
Desk Phone: 941-954-7094
Fax: 941-954-7034
Genevieve.Judge@SarasotaFL.gov

Suspect hospitalized for ingesting drugs during traffic stop

Post Date:02/19/2019 4:01 PM

On Sunday, February 17, 2019, Govinda Howell, 40, of Sarasota, was arrested and is facing charges of Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without Violence following a traffic stop where he ingested suspected narcotics.

At approximately 7:55 p.m. Saturday, Officers were traveling westbound on 23rd Street from North Osprey Avenue when they observed a vehicle stopped in the center of the road.  After stopping in the roadway, the vehicle began to travel westbound on 23rd Street in the eastbound lanes to the intersection of 23rd Street and Maple Avenue, Sarasota.  The vehicle failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection at which time Officers initiated a traffic stop.

As Officers activated their emergency lights, they observed the right rear seat passenger, Howell, turn around and look at the police vehicle.  Howell began to make furtive movements under the seat in front of him.  Officers told Howell to show them his hands, but he ignored their verbal commands.  Officers again told Howell to show them his hands, but he ignored them and leaned forward as if he was reaching for something under the front passenger seat.

At this time, Officers told Howell to step out of the vehicle and place his hands up.  Howell remained uncooperative and refused to show Officers his hands.  For Officer safety reasons, Howell was removed from the vehicle for a pat down.  Howell slowly stepped out of the vehicle while continuing to yell at Officers.  During this time, Howell appeared to be under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and became extremely agitated.

Howell resisted arrest and was ultimately placed in handcuffs.  During the struggle with Officers, Patrol Officers observed Howell actively placing suspected narcotics in his mouth and chew them to try and destroy them.  Officers were unable to recover any narcotics consumed by Howell.

Following his arrest, Howell was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital to be treated.  He remains at SMH currently.  The driver of the vehicle was issued a traffic citation for failure to use a designated lane.

The Sarasota Police Department was made aware of the video circulating around social media on Monday, February 18, 2019.  A formal and active internal affairs investigation has started after concerns were raised by our community.  Detectives are asking if anyone has additional information or video to contact Sergeant Dwayne Shellhammer at 941-954-7027.


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