A traffic stop in Florida on Saturday for window tinting nearly cost the life of a Seminole County Sheriff’s deputy after the armed man dragged him with his car while trying to flee.
The armed suspect, Rocky Rudolph Jr. was pulled over for a window tinting infraction at around 9:40 a.m. and while the incident seemed to be a non-event between Deputy Aaron Blais and Rudolph Jr. for several minutes, that all changed when Blais asked Rudolph if there was any marijuana in the car.
After being asked, Rudolph turned combative.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma stated that Rudolph, 38, tried to flee and dragged the deputy twice at 40 to 50 mph down a road in Lake Mary, Florida.
Lemma said the deputy was able to fire shots at Rudolph, who was also armed, striking Rudolph in the leg. Lemma further stated that Blais was thrown from the car just before it entered the interstate, where Rudolph lost control and bailed from the car on foot. The incident was caught on body and dashboard cameras.
It wasn’t until almost eight hours later that law enforcement officers caught up with Rudolph in Longwood, Lemma said. Rudolph was apprehended shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Lemma said an off-duty Belle Isle officer noticed a suspicious vehicle in his neighborhood and called law enforcement. When deputies responded, they said they found Rudolph in the car driven by someone they believe to be his daughter.
“This is a bad dude who almost killed one of our deputy sheriffs on the side of the road,” Lemma said.
Lemma said that Rudolph has a lengthy criminal record, having been charged over the years with 32 felonies and said Rudolph will now be charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Officials said they also located a handgun inside Rudolph’s SUV that was reported stolen out of Seminole County in 2016.
Deputy Blais was treated and released at the hospital yesterday for non-life threatening injuries.
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