HEATHROW, Fl. – The Seminole County Sheriff’s office, in the State of Florida, has pressed charges against the man who dragged a deputy from his vehicle during a traffic stop.
The male suspect identified as 38-year-old Rocky Rudolph Jr. has been arrested and charged with attempted murder. On Saturday, June 29, 2019, at around 9:40 a.m. a Seminole County deputy identified as Deputy Aaron Blais conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle because of illegally tinted windows.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma, in a news conference said that Deputy Blais explained to Rudolph that he was stopped due to his darkly tinted windows. He requested his insurance information, which Rudolph provided once he was able to locate it on his phone.
Deputy Blais reported that he smelled marijuana in the suspect vehicle. The deputy asked if Rudolph carried a medical marijuana card, which he told the deputy that he did not. He asked Rudolph if any friends smoke marijuana in his vehicle, and Rudolph said, “no”.
He asked Rudolph to turn off the vehicle, but Rudolph would not, authorities said. Blais asked if Rudolph had marijuana in his vehicle and he said that he did not. The deputy again asked him to turn his vehicle off, and Rudolph began driving several feet while Deputy Blais held onto the seatbelt in the black Escalade.
Rudolph again stopped the vehicle after Deputy Blais pleaded for him to stop driving. Deputy Blais pulled out his gun and pointed at the suspect. He called for backup as he pointed the gun into the window. Rudolph’s demeanor changed and he began to show signs of panic, shown on the Deputy Blais’ body worn camera.
Deputy Blais felt threatened by the suspect who refused to turn off his vehicle and who had already pulled him several feet when he accelerated his vehicle. Deputy Blais fired several times into the vehicle and Rudolph ultimately grabbed the barrel of the gun and began accelerating another 300 feet toward the 4 Freeway.
Deputy Blais eventually falls onto the median before entering the freeway. Witnesses reported that Rudolph threw a gun out of his window and into the bushes. Rudolph, who was identified prior to the dragging incident, was the subject of a search conducted by the SWAT team. He was found inside a different vehicle, driven by his 20-year-old daughter approximately 8 hours later.
A 9mm gun was found in the bushes and a second 9mm was found inside the Escalade. “This was a very dangerous situation,” Lemma said. “Our deputy could have been killed.”
Deputy Blais was transported to the hospital where he was treated and released. Rudolph suffered from a gunshot wound to his leg and when located, he was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Prior to this incident, Rocky Rudolph has been charged with 32 felonies, 22 misdemeanors, he has 15 felony convictions, and 8 misdemeanor convictions. One of his convictions was for Murder with a Firearm.
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