TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — One of the deputies injured in an ambush attack Thursday morning left the hospital Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said Ralph Bouzy, 28, drove his vehicle into Cpl. Carlos Brito, 39, and Deputy Manuel Santos, 31, while they responded to a mental health crisis call in Brandon. Both deputies suffered critical injuries and were taken to Tampa General Hospital for treatment.
Deputy Santos said the moments leading up to Bouzy trying to murder him were the “scariest moments of his life.”
“I’m happy to be here — obviously, the chances of me being here were slim to none for a second,” Deputy Santos said. “My hopes are that he [Corporal Brito] is able to keep his body the way it is, he comes out walking, and we’re able to get back to the next shift together.”
Physicians at Tampa General Hospital are expressing “cautious optimism ” about Corporl Brito, as they were able to salvage viable tissue that can save his leg.
“Both deputies are in for a long road to recovery,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I’m so grateful that tonight Deputy Santos gets to walk out of here, or even get wheeled out of here, on his own accord and that he’s alive.”
The suspect was arrested on three counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.
Saturday morning, the HCSO announced Santos would be discharged sometime in the afternoon after partially recovering from his injuries.
“I have not stopped praying for either Deputy Santos or Corporal Brito since the moment they were attacked. I am so thankful Deputy Santos is at a place to continue his recovery from the comforts of his home,” Chronister said. “We hope that Cpl. Brito follows suit as soon as possible.”
A fundraiser through the Lynn Sowers Memorial Foundation has been set up for the deputies and their health expenses. To learn more, click here.