Police vehicles

Tampa Police Make Arrest in 21st Ave. Fatal Hit & Run

This information is 1 month old and may no longer be accurate.

On October 27, Tampa Police Detectives arrested 28-year-old Dameisha Tyana Ceasar for her role in the fatal hit-and-run crash that took the life of a 57-year-old bicyclist.

On October 24, Tampa Police officers were dispatched to the 1900 block of E. 21st Ave., where they found Darrell Lee Dawson unresponsive in the roadway, after being struck by a car. Although lifesaving measures were performed, he ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The Lawson family approved the release of his information in the hope that it would encourage someone with information that could assist in the investigation to come forward.

On the same night, Ceasar had borrowed a 2023 blue Toyota Corolla to go to the store from a residence in the 3300 block of E. Wilder Ave. Ceasar later called family members yelling that she just hit something.

After the video of the crash was released by police and shared by local media, family members contacted detectives with information about Ceasar’s involvement in the crash. Following up on leads, Tampa Police Detectives recovered the vehicle in Plant City on October 26th. It was also determined that Ceasar’s driver’s license was suspended in June 2013, with two subsequent suspensions in 2015.

On Friday, October 27, 2023, Ceasar turned herself in to Tampa Police Detectives. She was arrested and charged with Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Death, and Driving Without a Valid Driver’s License (Death or Serious Bodily Injury). She was subsequently transported to Orient Road Jail.

“Our detectives worked tirelessly on this case to bring justice to Mr. Lawson’s family, and we are thankful for their dedication to this investigation,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “We also thank our media partners for sharing this message and our community members for stepping forward to provide detectives with information that has now allowed for some closure for the Lawson family as they continue to navigate this tragedy."