Florida deputies struck intentionally by man driving car recovering after surgeries, sheriff says

Nov 10, 2023, 12:55 PM | Updated: 1:26 pm

BRANDON, Fla. (AP) — Two Florida sheriff’s deputies remained hospitalized Friday after surgeries for injuries they suffered when a man intentionally plowed into them with his speeding car, authorities said.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a video message that deputies Carlos Brito, 39, and Manny Santos, 31, “are on a long road to recovery” after suffering severe leg injuries. The sheriff’s office posted a photo of Chronister with a smiling Santos and his wife in a Tampa General Hospital room.

“These deputies’ lives are changed forever,” the sheriff said.

The two were answering a call Thursday from a woman who said her son, 28-year-old Ralph Bouzy, was acting irrationally and kicking in doors at their home in Brandon, a suburb east of Tampa. When the deputies arrived, Bouzy took off in his car and then quickly raced back down the residential street and struck them, Chronister said.

He was arrested outside the home by another deputy who used a stun weapon to subdue him.

Bouzy is charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers and will remain in custody until at least Wednesday when a bail hearing is scheduled, a judge ruled Friday. Court records did not list an attorney who could speak for Bouzy, who had been arrested previously for three felonies and 14 misdemeanors and has expressed hostility toward law enforcement, Chronister said.

In one 2017 case, authorities said Bouzy punched a deputy in the face while being arrested for a hit-and-run accident. He said in the back of the patrol car at the time that he “hated law enforcement and that he was going to kill a deputy sheriff,” Chronister said. Court records also show Bouzy has a history of mental problems.

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Florida deputies struck intentionally by man driving car recovering after surgeries, sheriff says