A St. Cloud police officer became the victim of a hit and run accident on Friday afternoon.
Police said Dallas Kelsey, 79, has been charged with fleeing the scene of a traffic crash. FOX 35 has learned that Kelsey is a well-liked and well known tennis coach in St. Cloud.
Sgt. Denise Roberts said it all happened at 2:27 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Investigators said Kelsey left a shopping center parking lot and crossed the intersection of Old Canoe Road and Fifth Street. Police said, at that same time, Ofc. Jonathan Colley and a police recruit were in a patrol car heading north in response to an emergency. Police said lights and sirens were on at the time of the crash. Sgt. Roberts said Kelsey's car hit the patrol car, which was severely damaged on the rear of the car and is considered totaled.
"The driver continued driving and went down the road where he was later detained," said Sgt. Roberts.
Investigators said Kelsey kept driving, and eventually stopped in the parking lot of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School. The school is a few blocks down the road from the scene of the crash.
"Apparently, witnesses followed him and attempted to get him to stop and to realize what had just happened," said Sgt. Roberts.
Police responded and detained Kelsey for an hour before he was arrested. Officers said they tried to figure out why Kelsey left the scene.
"He made statements to our officers that he knew what happened," said Sgt. Robert. "He knew he hit a patrol car, but didn't know what to do."
No one was injured, but the accident rattled loved ones of the officers. Ofc. Colley was injured last year in an accident. In that accident, Sgt. Roberts said he was riding a motorcycle.
"He was out of work for an extended amount of time with a severe injury, and just now returned to work," said Sgt. Roberts. "Luckily, today he was driving a patrol car and not his motorcycle."
Dana Schafer, a spokesperson for Osceola County School District confirmed Kelsey recently stepped down from coaching St. Cloud High School's tennis team because of medical reasons. In January, the school's tennis complex was named after Kelsey.
Nearby roads were shut down for hours while police investigated the crash.