A motorist intentionally barreled into a pair of Florida deputies who were critically injured in an “ambush” attack Thursday morning, according to authorities and shocking footage of the crash.
Hillsborough County Deputy Manuel Santos, 31, and Corporal Carlos Brito, 39, were standing in front of their police cruiser on a residential street when the driver came speeding towards them, the footage shows.
The deputies didn’t have enough time to escape danger and one of them smacked into the car’s windshield after he attempted to jump out of the way, according to graphic videos released by authorities.
The car, driven by 28-year-old Ralph Bouzy, then came to a stop after it slammed into the police car.
The sheriff’s office was responding to the suspect’s house where he lived with his mother after she called for help because he was behaving violently, the law enforcement agency said in a news release.
When sheriff personnel arrived around 7:45 a.m., Bouzy drove off, authorities said.
But just after 8 a.m., he returned and took direct aim at the deputies, the sheriff’s office said.
“There is no other way to describe this other than an ambush,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement.
“Our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect this community and what happened today makes me absolutely sick.”
Two other deputies already at the scene chased down Bouzy after he exited his car, and tased him when he refused to surrender, authorities said.
“Taser, taser, taser,” one deputy could be heard yelling on bodycam video moments before the Taser was deployed. “Get on the ground right now.”
The suspect fell over after he was hit and was arrested, the footage shows.
Bouzy, who has a criminal history, was charged with three counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer with more charges possible, the sheriff’s office said.
He’s been previously arrested on three felonies and 14 misdemeanors, according to authorities.
Brito and Santos were both taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious, critical injuries.
“Corporal Brito and Deputy Santos came to work today committed to making a difference in their community,” Sheriff Chronister also stated.
“Because of this man’s deliberate and intentional actions, their lives, and their family’s lives are changed forever.”
Brito has been with the department since 2013 and Santos since 2019.
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