FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A man shot and critically wounded by undercover officers Wednesday night after allegedly trying to run them down has a 28-year criminal record with more than 30 arrests, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement background check.
John Donald Augstgen Jr, 47, was shot multiple times by undercover Fort Pierce Police Officer Keith Holmes and St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office detective Keith Pearson after they interrupted an alleged drug deal.
Augstgen, whose address was not provided, has a criminal record dating from 1984 that includes drug charges, high-speed fleeing and eluding, assault on a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to FDLE. He was released from Lake Correctional Institute May 6, 2011, after serving five years for assaulting a law enforcement officer, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.
After the shooting, Augstgen was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute. His condition was not available.
Holmes and Pearson, both nine-year veterans of their agencies, have been place on paid administrative leave, which is the routine in an officer-involved shooting, until the outcome of the investigation. It is not a disciplinary action, authorities said.
The shooting, outside Dan McCarty Middle School at Virginia Avenue and 13th Street, followed a chase that started at 7:47 p.m. Wednesday at the scene of an alleged drug deal at North 23 Street Avenue and Avenue G in Fort Pierce.
Holmes and other law enforcement officers were on a special anti-crime detail when they approached an unidentified black man leaning inside Augstgen's black pickup. After Holmes identified himself as a police officer, the unidentified black man ran away and Augstgen drove off, nearly striking Holmes, the release states.
"They approached the deal in their undercover clothes and the drug dealer ran," Sheriff Ken Mascara said.
However, Holmes chased the man but lost track of him in a residential area. Holmes was soon picked up by officers in a car to pursue Augstgen.
Law enforcement called off the vehicle chase at 7:56 p.m. — but a minute later a sheriff's helicopter spotted the vehicle that sheriff's officials said tried to ram deputies as they drove toward his location.
The chase resumed at 8 p.m. and Holmes blocked the intersection of Oleander Avenue and Virginia Avenue, the release states.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Augstgen drove erratically on the grass playground of the school and rammed Sheriff's Office patrol cars and several unmarked cars, disabling them, the release states.
Holmes got out of his car thinking Augstgen was going to stop. Instead, Augstgen is accused of driving directly at Holmes, the release states.
Holmes fired an unknown amount of shots and Augstgen swerved toward Keith Pearson, who also fired an unknown amount of shots, the release states.
"Some of the deputies attempted to approach the suspect vehicle, which is a pickup. When they did that, he put it in drive and attempted to run one of them over. They went ahead and fired shots at the suspect vehicle, hitting the driver," Mascara said. "He drove directly at officers and deputies who were out of their cars and fired at the suspect in self-defense."
A woman passenger, who was in the pickup at the time of the shooting and wasn't injured, said Augstgen told her he wasn't stopping and didn't want to go back to prison.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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