TAMPA, Florida – A Tampa man is behind bars after police say he tried to race another driver on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, not realizing the other driver was a police officer in an unmarked car.
Clearwater police say 20-year-old Connor Proleika was headed east on the causeway around 2 a.m. Friday when he tried racing the officer.
According to a post on the Clearwater Police Department Facebook page, Proleika pulled up alongside the other car, revved his engine and then looked over and smiled at the other driver.
Police say he tried to bait the other driver into racing him. When the other driver did not accept his challenge, officers say Proleika sped away, driving at speeds up to 124 mph.
“What he didn’t know at the time was that the other driver was a Clearwater police officer, a member of the traffic enforcement team, driving in an unmarked vehicle,” the post on the police department Facebook page says.
The officer pulled Proleika over and arrested him. Police say the suspect told the officer, “I had no idea you were a cop. I would never have tried to race you if I knew you were a cop. I really screwed up, man.”
Proleika was charged with racing on a highway and several charges for violation of probation, online jail records show. Police say he had just gotten out of jail.