POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Haines City police officer said he thought he was going to die when a traffic stop on Highway 27 turned into a struggle for his life.
According to police, 27-year-old Officer Dwight Rogers was shot in the leg by a suspect who was able to pull the trigger of his gun from inside its holster.
“Thank God this didn’t turn out a different way,” said Interim Police Chief Loyd Stewart.
According to police, the chain of events started with a man named Luis Alfonso Alicea Feliciano. Officer Rogers said Feliciano was going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit and driving erratically around 8:30 Sunday night.
When Officer Rogers pulled Feliciano over, he refused to hand over any documents or get out of the vehicle, according to police.
Feliciano was arrested for resisting an officer without violence.
The vehicle he was driving, registered to his girlfriend, Daribel Torres-Orozco, had a “seized tag order” on it, according to police, so it had to be towed.
Feliciano asked to call his girlfriend to pick up groceries that were in the car. Daribel Torres-Orozco arrived at the scene with her brother, 26-year-old David Torres-Orozco of Davenport.
“They continued to act aggressively toward the sergeant and the other officers who were there and there’s a total of four officers there at this point,” said Interim Chief Stewart.
After being asked to step back several times, according to police, a sergeant handcuffed Daribel Torres-Orozco.
That’s when police said David Torres-Orozco reached for the gun in Officer Rogers’ holster.
“He’s somehow able to get his finger into the holster and fire the firearm in the holster and the round goes into Officer Roger’s leg,” said Interim Chief Stewart.
Officers were able to wrangle Orozco into custody.
“He said he blacked out and didn’t remember but he always wants to protect his family,” said Interim Chief Stewart.
Immediately following the incident, Interim Chief Stewart said he ordered staff to research new holsters that will not put his officers at risk.
“Safariland is the holster that we use and they have several different models out and their most current model, a picture of it appears to correct that issue of being able to get your finger into it,” he said.
Daribel Torres-Orozco, who has no previous criminal record, is facing a charge of resisting officer without violence.
David Torres-Orozco, who also has no previous criminal record, faces charges of aggravated battery on law enforcement officer, resist officer with violence, battery on law enforcement officer, attempted felony murder with weapon and resist officer without violence.
Officer Rogers remains hospitalized at Lakeland Regional Health and is expected to make a full recovery. He has been with the department for four years.