Shooting, chase lead to man's arrest

Wayne Washer

Allegations of firing gunshots into a house with teenagers and a child inside and a subsequent chase that damaged three sheriff patrol cars landed a Crystal River man in jail on Saturday.

Citrus deputies arrived early Saturday morning to investigate a shooting in the 100 block of South Fillmore Street in Beverly Hills, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

Investigators learned that Wayne Washer, 48, drove to that house with his 8-year-old daughter. The house is owned by Washer’s estranged wife, Melissa Washer.

Melissa Washer, her teenage son — Wayne Washer’s stepson — and two of his friends were inside the house, according to the sheriff’s office statement.

When Wayne Washer arrived, he began slashing the tires of a car belonging to one of his stepson’s friends.

Sheriff’s officials could not say what motivated Washer to become aggressive.

“It could be a whole host of reasons,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Lindsay Blair said.

Washer’s stepson went outside to confront him, causing Washer to threaten him with a knife. The stepson then hit Washer with an axe handle repeatedly, the release stated.

As Washer and his stepson fought, Melissa Washer got her daughter from Washer’s car and took her into the house.

Washer went back to his car and drove toward Regina Boulevard before making a U-turn and driving back to the house

When he got in front of the house, Washer fired shots at the home from the car while the victims were inside, according to the release.

Washer then got out of the car, went up to the house and fired more shots into the living room through the windows.

He tried to get inside the house by breaking glass and tried to open the door, but was unable to, the release stated.

When deputies arrived, they reportedly saw Washer backing out of the driveway before leading deputies on a car chase.

Three deputies’ cruisers were damaged during the chase when Washer collided with them multiple times. No deputies were injured, the release stated.

The chase ended on County Road 486, near LKQ, after Washer’s car crashed into a tree on the north side of the road.

Deputies fired bean bag rounds into Washer’s car because he wasn’t complying with deputies’ orders and was pointing a gun at his head, the release stated.

According to Blair, investigators were still following up on the case at the C.R. 486 crash site on Tuesday.

Washer was eventually arrested on charges of five counts of attempted murder, shooting into an occupied house, aggravated fleeing and eluding, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and shooting from a motor vehicle within 1,000 feet of a person.

More charges may be filed by the State Attorney’s Office, which has been reviewing the case.

Due to injuries sustained at the house, during the car chase and during his arrest, Washer was airlifted to Bayonet Point in Pasco County.

Washer was released from the hospital and taken to the Citrus County Detention Facility, where he was held without bond, the release stated.

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