BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — A day of terror unfolded in a Brandon neighborhood after two deputies became the target of a man’s rage after he turned his car into a weapon.
“Some people described it as a gunshot, but that wasn’t a gunshot,” said Vanita Shanks, a neighbor who witnessed the crash. “It was a car running into something.”
The suspect is 28-year-old Ralph Bouzy, who has a history of criminal activity and has been arrested five times, with three felony charges and 14 misdemeanor charges.
Bouzy rammed into the deputies with the intent to kill, officials said. Their legs were shattered from the impact of the crash, pulling them down to the ground. However, the deputies stayed in control as the suspect walked out of the car unarmed.
“What I saw was some real stellar restrained, proper police response to a really tragic situation,” said Roger Clark, a former lieutenant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Clark is now a police procedures consultant and spent time reviewing the critical moments when the deputies had their guns drawn.
“[The suspect] was hands free, no weapon, and is on his feet,” Clark said. “I saw both officers opted to use a taser rather than a gun to take him into custody and they were successful. There’s exceptional discipline demonstrated in his arrest.”
“These are two men who left their house not knowing if they’d come home and they almost didn’t,” Rep. Danny Alvarez said.
Alvarez visited the two deputies at the hospital after they were admitted.
“I ended up speaking with one of the gentlemen who was in good spirits,” Alvarez said. “IT was not easy, but I was just thankful that were were visiting people in their rooms and that we’re not going to a funeral.”
Bouzy was a suspect in a hit-and-run in 2017 and punched a deputy in the face. In the back of that patrol car, he stated that he “hated law enforcement and that he was going to kill a deputy sheriff.”