Sheriff: Deputy fatally shot driver who dragged him 150 feet with car

The deputy was conducting a traffic stop after a suspicious vehicle was reported; his bodycam was dislodged during the scuffle

By Juan Carlos Chavez
Tampa Bay Times

PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A Pasco deputy killed a man early Saturday after authorities say the man tried to drive off, dragging the deputy.

According to Pasco Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Hunter, a deputy was conducting a traffic stop after a suspicious vehicle was reported at the Rodeway Inn in Port Richey on U.S. 19, just south of State Road 52.

The Sheriff’s Office did not identify the deputy, citing Marsy’s Law. Authorities said that as the deputy was approaching the car, the suspect ran away and the deputy followed for a few feet. The suspect then circled back to the car, authorities said, got in and tried to drive away while the deputy chased him. According to investigators, the deputy attempted to stop the man and the car, but was dragged approximately 150 feet in the parking lot of the Rodeway Inn.

At some point, the man reached for something under the driver’s seat, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy fired approximately three shots at the man, who fell out of the car with the deputy.

The Sheriff’s Office did not identify the man, also citing Marsy’s Law, but said he was white and a gang member with 43 arrests and a criminal history that includes violent crimes, robbery with a firearm, burglary and multiple narcotic charges. He was released from prison in 2021.

According to investigators, the deputy’s body-worn camera was dislodged and there is no video footage. The deputy was not significantly injured. Investigators said the deputy began life-saving measures, but the man died at the scene.

According to a press release, the deputy involved is on administrative leave during the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation into the shooting.

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