Two Florida sheriff’s deputies are recovering in the hospital after being intentionally struck by a speeding car, according to authorities. The incident occurred in Brandon, a suburb east of Tampa, when deputies Carlos Brito, 39, and Manny Santos, 31, responded to a call from a woman reporting her son’s erratic behavior and door-kicking at their residence. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister provided an update on their condition in a video message, stating that both deputies suffered severe leg injuries and face a long road to recovery.
Sheriff Chronister expressed his concern for the deputies, emphasizing that their lives have been forever changed by the incident. A photo was shared by the sheriff’s office, capturing a smiling Santos and his wife in a room at Tampa General Hospital, where they are receiving treatment. The injuries sustained by the deputies highlight the dangers law enforcement officers face in the line of duty.
The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Ralph Bouzy, fled the scene in his car upon the deputies’ arrival. Moments later, he returned to the residential street at high speed, intentionally striking Brito and Santos. Another deputy managed to apprehend Bouzy outside the house using a stun weapon to subdue him. The motive behind Bouzy’s actions remains unclear.
Bouzy has been charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers and will remain in custody until a bail hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Sheriff Chronister revealed that Bouzy has a history of hostility towards law enforcement, having been previously arrested for three felonies and 14 misdemeanors. In a 2017 case, Bouzy allegedly punched a deputy during an arrest for a hit-and-run accident, expressing his hatred for law enforcement and threatening to kill a deputy sheriff while in the patrol car. Court records further indicate Bouzy’s history of mental health issues.
The incident serves as a sobering reminder of the risks faced by law enforcement officers who dedicate their lives to protecting communities. As the injured deputies endure their recovery process, the community rallies behind them, offering support and appreciation for their selfless service. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and local authorities continue to investigate the incident to ensure justice is served for the injured deputies and their families.