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Fla. deputy intentionally struck by suspect released from rehab facility

Cpl. Carlos Brito was released Tuesday, just in time for the holidays; Brito and Deputy Manuel “Manny” Santos were both severely injured by a suspect who intentionally drove into them


Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Carlos Brito wipes away tears as hospital staff and fellow members of law enforcement cheer as he is released from Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Largo on Tuesday. At left is Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. More than a month ago, Brito and his partner, Deputy Manuel “Manny” Santos, were seriously injured when a suspect drove his car into the two of them.

Dirk Shadd/TNS

By Dirk Shadd, Tony Marrero
Tampa Bay Times

LARGO, Fla. — A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was seriously injured when a man intentionally ran into him with a car last month was released from a rehabilitation center Tuesday just in time for the holidays.

Cpl. Carlos Brito wiped away tears as hospital staff and fellow members of law enforcement cheered as he exited Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Largo in a wheelchair.

According to information previously released by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Ralph Bouzy’s mother called 911 on Nov. 9 and said her son was acting violent and irrational at their Brandon home. Fearing for her safety, she asked that deputies be sent.

When Brito and Deputy Manuel “Manny” Santos arrived outside the home, they found Bouzy in the driver’s seat of a parked Nissan Altima.

[RELATED: Video: Man ambushes, rams Fla. deputies with car, pinning them to patrol vehicle]

Sheriff Chad Chronister said the deputies tried to deescalate the situation, but Bouzy ignored them and drove away. Bouzy returned and nearly hit two additional deputies who arrived at the scene, then sped up and aimed his car at Santos and Brito, who stood next to a sheriff’s SUV, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brito was pinned between the Nissan and sheriff’s SUV. Both deputies suffered serious leg injuries and were rushed to Tampa General Hospital.

Santos was released from the hospital on Nov. 11 . Brito was released on Dec. 5 and admitted to the Largo rehabilitation facility.

The next day, a Tampa judge ruled that Bouzy was mentally incompetent to stand trial.

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