On Thursday morning, two deputies of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office were critically injured in an alleged “ambush” attack by 28-year-old Florida man Ralph Bouzy.
According to a news release from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, officers had responded to a 911 call from Bouzy’s mother who said she was fearful for her son due to his mental health crisis.
The officers encountered Bouzy in the driver’s seat of a car and attempted to engage him in conversation, but he quickly drove away. Minutes later, Bouzy returned and drove his Nissan Altima into both deputies – pinning them to a police SUV.
He then exited his vehicle and refused commands from other nearby officers; one officer deployed a Taser on Bouzy before apprehending him.
Bouzy has been charged with three counts of attempted murder on a law enforcement officer, and it is reported that one deputy may need their leg amputated due to their injuries.
Law enforcement noted that Bouzy has an extensive criminal history including three felonies and 14 misdemeanors; in 2017, he was involved in a hit-and-run incident during which he punched a deputy in the face.
“There is no other way to describe this other than an ambush,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Our deputies put their lives on the line every day to protect this community and what happened today makes me absolutely sick.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that he and his wife, Casey, are “praying for the deputies who were seriously injured during this ambush in Brandon.”
“We don’t tolerate attacks on our law enforcement officers in Florida,” DeSantis declared. “The coward who brutally attacked these deputies will be punished.”
Cpl. Carlos Brito, aged 39, and Deputy Manuel Santos, aged 31, sustained critical injuries in an accident and are currently receiving medical attention at Tampa General Hospital.
Santos has suffered a bilateral fracture in his leg as well as extensive ligament damage necessitating surgery.
Cpl. Brito’s injuries are so severe that amputation of the leg may be required; his femur bone was found wedged between two cars and has been brought to the hospital by a surgeon in an effort to save it.
Sheriff Chronister reported that Cpl. Brito is conscious and surrounded by family members while surgeons monitor his progress closely with the goal of preserving his leg intact.
“Corporal Brito and Deputy Santos came to work today committed to making a difference in their community,” Chronister added. “Because of this man’s deliberate and intentional actions, their lives, and their family’s lives are changed forever.”
(WARNING: Graphic video)