BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statement on Thursday after two deputies were ambushed in Brandon and run over by a car.
“[Casey] and I are praying for the deputies who were seriously injured during this ambush in Brandon,” DeSantis said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We don’t tolerate attacks on our law enforcement officers in Florida. The coward who brutally attacked these deputies will be punished.”
The deputies were hit by a car after they were called to a home in the Heather Lake subdivision of Brandon by a woman who said her adult son was having a mental health crisis. The woman said she was afraid for her life, according to Sheriff Chad Chronister.
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.
When deputies showed up at the home, Bouzy drove away. When he returned around 8 a.m., he “deliberately accelerated” and aimed his car at them, striking both of them, who were about 10 feet from their cars.
Deputies tried to jump out of the way to avoid being hit but got pinned between their two patrol cars.
Warning: The video below is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.
One of the deputies, Cpl. Carlos Brito suffered the most damage. A piece of his femur bone got stuck between the cars. His leg may be amputated. A surgeon asked for that bone for the procedure to save his life and his leg.
Chronister said the attack was intentional.
“There is no other way to describe this other than an ambush,” Chronister said. “Our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect this community and what happened today makes me absolutely sick.”
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.”
Bouzy was charged with two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.