BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies were severely injured Thursday morning when a suspect drove his car directly into the deputies.
Corporal Carlos Brito, 39, and Deputy Manuel Santos, 31, were standing outside of the patrol vehicles and standing in the street as they responded to a call for help.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says a woman called the sheriff’s office, saying her adult son was having a mental breakdown and kicking in doors inside their home.
Deputies Brito and Santos were among the first to arrive and as they stood outside of their patrol vehicles, Sheriff Chronister said a car driven by 28-year-old Ralph Bouzy slammed into them.
Both deputies were seriously injured.
“Corporal Carlos Brito has suffered the most serious injuries between the two deputies. His leg may be amputated,” said Chronister.
A video released by the sheriff’s office shows a car turn directly into the deputies, pinning them against a car.
As Brito lay on the ground, with a broken leg, Santos drew his service weapon as Bouzy walked toward him.
Santos did not fire his weapon, but other deputies fired their tasers to disable Bouzy who was then arrested.
Deputy Santos has been with the department since 2019. Corporal Brito has been with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office since 2013.
Brito is a familiar face on the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office FaceBook page. He is seen in a photo with a smile on his face as he changes someone’s tire in 2017.
In 2016, Corporal Brito joined with other deputies to use their own money to help a family after their home was destroyed by fire. Corporal Brito and the other deputies bought clothes, food, school uniforms, and even a child’s bicycle to help the family.
Corporal Brito has been recognized by MADD for his work and he helped save the life of an elderly woman after she wandered away from her family home in 2018.
Sheriff Chronister says doctors are now doing everything they can to help Brito, who was the most seriously injured.
” I can tell you that Corporal Brito, his injury was so significant that as he got trapped between the two cars as he was getting out and was struck by this individual, that a piece of his femur bone was stuck in the cars. The surgeon asked as she was going into surgery, she requested that bone,” said Chronister.