Video shows Florida man drag sheriff's deputy 100 yards along highway while attempting to flee traffic stop
Rocky Rudolph Jr., 38, has 15 prior felony convictions to his name and is currently being held at the Seminole County Jail without bail
A Florida driver has been arrested and charged after he dragged a law enforcement officer over 100 yards on an interstate highway on-ramp following a confrontation during a traffic stop.
The incident transpired after Rocky Rudolph Jr., 38, was stopped by deputy Aaron Blais of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) on the morning of Saturday, June 29 because he was driving in a vehicle with illegally tinted windows, according to CNN.
In bodycam footage released by the sheriff's department, Blais can be seen walking over to the vehicle and having an amicable conversation with Rudolph, with the pair even joking about the latter's unusual name.
But things took a turn for the worse after Blais says he smelled marijuana on Rudolph. When he questions the 38-year-old on the same, he could not produce a card for medical marijuana.
Rudolph refuses to turn off his engine on Blais' request and tries to speed away even as the deputy is hanging out of the window screaming for him to stop. When he stops the car after driving about 20 feet, Blais pulls out a gun and points it at the vehicle.
As the officer radios for backup, Rudolph grabs Blais and drives another 100 yards towards the I-4 before ultimately stopping and running off after the deputy fell from the car and rolled into the median.
Witnesses said he threw a gun into the bushes as he took off into a residential area.
The SCSO said Blais was treated and released for non-life threatening injuries and that Rudolph was pursued by law enforcement, including the SCSCO's SWAT team, for almost eight hours before he was caught inside another vehicle at around 4:30 pm the same day.
At some point during the altercation, Blais is said to have shot Rudolph in the leg. However, it is unclear how many shots were fired, with SCSO spokesman Bob Kealing stating that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would investigate it further.
SCSO Sheriff Dennis Lemma told reporters at a press conference that he was "absolutely convinced that Rudolph was reaching for his gun" during the confrontation and that body camera and dashboard footage would "clearly show that."
Rudolph, who has 15 felony convictions and eight misdemeanor convictions, has been charged with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, and resisting an officer with violence.
He is being held at the Seminole County Jail without bond and is scheduled to make his first appearance in court at 2 pm on Monday, July 1.
Warning: Some readers may find the footage below disturbing.