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Some public-spirited motorists are winning praise from the Florida Highway Patrol for assisting an officer to subdue a noncompliant suspect on the side of the road.
The incident, which is partially caught on dashcam video embedded below, got started when Trooper Jonathan Ruiz made routine contact with a 24-year-old man who was walking on the shoulder of a busy eastbound stretch of I-4 in Tampa. Pedestrian travel along the highway is not permitted.
The reportedly uncooperative pedestrian, identified as Alexander Hernandez Delgado, purportedly told the lawman that his mother had just kicked him out of the house.
The patrolman’s subsequent police report explained that “I then searched the subject and attempted to place him in the back of my patrol car. The subject became argumentative and stated that I am bothering him and that he would like to be left alone. The subject then pulled away and then threw a punch with his left hand that [struck] me in the face.”
“The trooper said he told Delgado he was just trying to help him off the highway, and again tried to get him to go into the patrol car,” Fox 13 Tampa Bay added about the incident that occurred on Friday morning, March 18.
Video shows the suspect allegedly punching the officer in the face and then apparently trying to flee before they apparently begin to grapple off camera. The suspect allegedly threw several more punches in the fray, according to the FHP officer.
An 18-wheeler driver and several other persons can be seen rushing to help the officer subdue the suspect on the left side of the frame. Another vehicle is depicted pulling over.
Audio seemed to pick up cries of anguish as the officer and the suspect fought.
Trooper Ruiz suffered a bloody nose and a cut on his chin in the encounter but was reportedly back on the job the same day.
“Thank you to all of the Good Samaritans who stopped yesterday, in both direction of Interstate 4, to assist our Trooper!!,” the FHP said on social media.
— FHP Tampa (@FHPTampa) March 19, 2022
The suspect, identified by multiple media outlets as Alexander Hernandez Delgado, was reportedly booked in the Hillsborough County Jail on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
All suspects are presumed innocent until or unless they are convicted in a court of law of any alleged crimes.
Earlier this month, a decisive and quick-thinking veteran Florida highway patrol trooper made headlines when she bravely drove her SUV directly in front of a vehicle operated by an alleged drunk driver who appeared to be on the verge of barreling into runners participating in a 10k race in St. Petersburg.
Hero Florida trooper rams head-on into alleged drunk driver barreling toward 10k runners, dashcam shows https://t.co/cexb33wtGZ
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) March 10, 2022
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