Man accused of crashing into Gulfport officer reportedly apologizes

Man accused of crashing into Gulfport officer reportedly apologizes

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The man accused of seriously injuring a Gulfport police officer apologized several times for injuring the officer and said he didn't intend to hurt him.

But in a recorded audio statement by police, 18-year-old Eli Bosworth said he, "hated police."

According to Harrison County Prosecutor Hermon Cox, Bosworth testified against his public defender's advice Wednesday.

Cox said Bosworth recounted the hours leading up to the crash.

"He said he was staying at a friend's house, and his friend had to leave to go to work in Slidell at 4 in the morning. So, he had him [the friend] drive him [Boswell] to Crossroads Mall because he likes to read a lot," Cox said.

Cox said Boswell got cold and started looking for a vehicle he could use. According to police he eventually found a Coast Transit Authority van with keys inside. Cox said Boswell immediately cranked it up and turned on the heat.

"Then he went to Starbucks, got a coffee, and stayed there for a while. Then after 6 a.m. he went to Barnes and Noble, hung out until it opened up, and went inside. And then [he] went to some other stores," Cox explained.

Cox said Boswell got back into the van.

Gulfport police found Boswell after learning the Coast Transit Authority van had been stolen.

Cox said while on Three Rivers Road they attempted to stop Boswell, but supposedly Boswell wouldn't stop. Cox said Bosworth admitted to not stopping for police after seeing their blue lights.

"He did say that the officer chasing him didn't have his sirens on," Cox said. "He admitted he was doing 75 on Three Rivers Road when he crashed into Officer Garcia."

When asked about the audio recording stating he hated police, Bosworth reportedly said he didn't really mean what he said and that he just has a lot of anger in him, Cox said.

"He agreed that he stole the vehicle. He agreed that he fled police. He admitted it all," Cox said.

"The boy was very coherent. He was very articulate. He understood the questions unlike a lot of defendants that ramble on. A lot of defendants try to say they don't remember or try to play dumb. I'd say 85 percent of the time - the defendant doesn't testify during these preliminary hearings."

Bosworth's attorney attempted to get his $150,000 bond reduced; however, the judge denied that request. His case has been handed over to a grand jury.

Bosworth faces felony charges for fleeing police and stealing a vehicle.

Cox said Bosworth could potentially face up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. The felony alluding carries up to five years and up to a $5,000 fine. He's looking at 15 years in jail and or $15,000 fine.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.