Tarpon Springs DUI manslaughter suspect now a fugitive - WFLA News Channel 8

Tarpon Springs DUI manslaughter suspect now a fugitive

Posted: Updated:
Garrett Bruce Garrett Bruce
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -
DUI manslaughter suspect Garrett Bruce appears to be on the run and may have taken his family with him.

Bruce is supposed to face trial in Pinellas County next week for DUI manslaughter, but failed to show up for a court hearing Monday.

His lawyer said he was stressed and possibly suicidal. That prompted Pinellas Circuit Judge R. Timothy Peters to issue a warrant for Bruce's arrest.

None of that surprises Patricia Walker, mother of backseat passenger Patrick Vossbein who died when Bruce hit a power pole in Tarpon Springs at high speed in December 2011.  "He cut his own ankle bracelet off and went on the run," said Walker. "I told people he was a flight risk and now we know," she said.

Walker traveled to Pinellas County for Bruce's pretrial court hearing Monday, just as she has 13 times before to monitor Bruce's court case.
She was in court when Judge Peters issued a warrant for Bruce's arrest.
"I promised my son when he was passing away that I would get justice for him," Walker said. "Now I feel like I'm letting him down because he's [Bruce] on the run."

Pasco Sheriff's detectives have other concerns in the case.

Bruce's wife Jennifer removed both of their children Dylan, age 7, and Brett, age 5, from Longleaf Elementary School in New Port Richey two weeks ago. "Jennifer took the kids out of school and said they won't be returning,"said Tobin. 

Now, the entire family is missing.

"We're trying to reach out to the two kids to make sure they're OK," said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin.
Tobin said a bail bondsman is also looking for Bruce because he stands to lose $100,000 now that Bruce has skipped town.
Bruce is from Georgia and has family in South Florida.

As of Monday Judge Peters said he planned to keep Bruce's upcoming DUI manslaughter trial on the docket for next week and scheduled another hearing Thursday to see if he shows up.

Related Content: Parents await justice in Pinellas Co. DUI case

Don’t miss out on the day’s top Facebook conversations http://on.fb.me/18y81Cl



  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:49 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:49:59 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • NewsMore>>

  • Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Labor Day - more than just a day off

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-09-01 10:41:03 GMT
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
    While many people have the day off work, the day is actually meant to celebrate the achievements and contributions of American workers.
  • Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Two shot outside party in Tampa

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:59:20 GMT
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
    Two people have gunshot wounds after a shooting outside a party in Tampa early Sunday morning, Tampa police said. 
  • Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Pilot dies in plane crash near downtown St. Pete

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:44 AM EDT2014-09-01 07:44:26 GMT
    Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.Rescue boaters are on the scene of a downed banner plane near Albert Whitted Airport.
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 
    The pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the water near Albert Whitted Airport has died, St. Petersburg police officials said. 

  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.