Hillsborough Deputy thwarts attempt to steal gun in court - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough Deputy thwarts attempt to steal gun in court

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Hillsborough County Sheriff Sgt. Sgt. Tracey Wallace Hillsborough County Sheriff Sgt. Sgt. Tracey Wallace

It was just another hearing in a Hillsborough County courtroom.

But in a flash, it turned into anything but a normal situation as an inmate tries to take a Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputy's gun.

"Out of the corner of my eye I saw him lunge at me, I felt him, I quickly swept my hand when I felt his hands approach my weapon," said Sgt. Tracey Wallace with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Within moments, other deputies quickly grabbed the handcuffed and shackled inmate and hustled him out of the courtroom.

"It's surprising to think that someone will do such a thing, he was in restraints. I don't really know what his intent was, I just have to think that it could have been the worst," added Sgt. Wallace.

Robert Bridges, 23, was in court on a Burglary and Grand Theft charges.

Now he's facing additional charges, including Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.

Sgt. Wallace went on to say, "I had a heightened awareness of him.  He was studying me, studying the equipment that I wear, and just watching myself and the other deputies in the courtroom with me."

Deputies are trained to protect their weapons in the courtroom and on the street to avoid what could be a deadly situation.

Col. Kenny Davis with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's office said, "Had he gotten her weapon we all know how serious it would have been, the deal with law enforcement is every single time we have is an armed encounter because we bring the gun so, we do a lot of training about weapon retention."

And in this case, that training paid off for a deputy, who almost found herself on the other side of her gun.

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