SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - A man with a lengthy criminal history will face a judge Monday after dragging a Seminole County deputy with his car while trying to flee a traffic stop, authorities said.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said Deputy Aaron Blais pulled over Rocky Rudolph Jr., 38, Saturday at about 9:40 a.m. in Lake Mary for a window tinting infraction. Lemma said the deputy smelled marijuana in the car and Rudolph turned combative.
Lemma said Rudolph tried to flee and dragged Blais twice at speeds of 40 to 50 mph on County Road 46A near I-4 for about 200 yards.
Lemma said the deputy was able to fire shots at Rudolph, who was also armed, striking Rudolph in the leg. The sheriff said Blais was thrown from the car just before it entered I-4, where Rudolph lost control and bailed from the car on foot.
The sheriff said the incident was caught on body and dashboard cameras.
After an eight-hour manhunt, deputies caught up with Rudolph in Longwood, the sheriff said.
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.
Rudolph's daughter did not want to go on camera, but told Channel 9, "I know for a fact if I was in the situation I call my dad, he's coming no questions asked, so I didn't ask any questions," in regards to why she picked up her father.
“This is a bad dude who almost killed one of our deputy sheriffs on the side of the road,” Lemma said.
Rudolph’s criminal history includes, 15 felony convictions, eight misdemeanor convictions, 32 felony charges and 22 misdemeanor charges. He was also acquitted on murder with a firearm, Channel 9 learned.
Lemma 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.
The sheriff said Rudolph was in the hospital receiving treatment for his wound before being booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility where he is being held without bond.
Blais was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon.
You can watch raw video of the encounter below from the deputy's bodycam and dashcam:
WANTED SUSPECT: Identified as ROCKY M RUDOLPH JR of Apopka. Please Call 911 if you know is whereabouts or have information. pic.twitter.com/p6GOK3pH7z— Seminole County S.O. (@SeminoleSO) June 29, 2019
*Due to an increased multi-agency law enforcement presence in the area, we encourage the community to avoid this particular area if possible.*— Seminole County S.O. (@SeminoleSO) June 29, 2019
— Karla Ray (@KRayWFTV) June 29, 2019
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