Florida man involved in crash punches firefighter

Man faces charges on DUI, battery charges

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CLEARWATER, Fla. - Officials say a man involved in a minor crash punched a firefighter and tore a hole in the pavement while trying to get away.

The three-vehicle crash happened Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater.

Authorities say Gary Steven Cook now faces DUI and battery on a firefighter charges.

Clearwater public safety spokesman Rob Shaw told the Tampa Bay Times the crash happened about 4:30 p.m. Cook hit the gas, trying to get away and "tore up the pavement."

Cook punched fire inspector Ron Neuberger when he reached into the vehicle to make sure the ignition was turned off, officials say. 

A portion of the road was closed for several hours so workers could fill a hole left by Cook's tire.

Cook remained in jail early Thursday. An attorney wasn't listed on jail records.

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