Officers saved man from jumping off Skyway Bridge after he allegedly tried to run over deputy

Local News

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA)—Deputies saved a 23-year-old man who appeared to be ready to jump off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge on Saturday after driving his vehicle at a deputy and nearly hitting him.

According to a news release, Deputy Merill saw Scott Rapson swerving back and forth in his car on State Road 64 near Cypress Creek Boulevard.

When Merrill tried to pull him over, Rapson drove at the deputy at a high rate of speed and came within feet of hitting him, authorities said.

A passenger got out of his vehicle, and Rapson continued eastbound on State Road 64 and eventually made it to Interstate 75.

Multiple deputies and an aviation unit responded, and followed Rapson as he neared the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They used stop sticks to disable his vehicle, but he continued driving northbound onto the bridge with two flattened tires, authorities said.

Scott Rapson. (Source: Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies said Rapson eventually stopped near the top of the bridge and got out of his car and climbed over the barrier.

A video released Wednesday shows Rapson sitting on the wall while two officers, Detective Jones and Sgt. Bowling, walked up to the barrier.

The two officers started talking to Rapson and were able to distract him as another officer, Detective Ackerman, went around him and pulled him off the edge of the bridge. He was taken into custody without injury.

Rapson was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, DUI and fleeing to elude.

Online jail records show Rapson has previous arrests for fleeing and DUI, and was still on probation.

The sheriff’s office recounted the incident Wednesday:


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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