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A Florida man was charged Sunday with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer after he fled a traffic stop with a sheriff’s deputy dangling from the door of his SUV, authorities said.
Deputy Aaron Blais pulled over Rocky Rudolph, 38, on Saturday on suspicion of having illegally tinted windows, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
In body camera footage of the stop, Blais can be seen talking to a driver, identified as Rudolph, about his windows. The deputy asked for a license and other documents before eventually questioning whether Rudolph had marijuana in his sport utility vehicle.
When Blais ordered Rudolph to turn off his vehicle, he allegedly started rolling forward with the deputy hanging onto the driver’s side window. He also appeared to reach for Blais’ gun.
Blais repeatedly ordered Rudolph to stop driving, and he did briefly while saying that he’d done nothing wrong.
Rudolph then appeared to reach for Blais’ gun again as he stepped on the gas and drove toward an interstate with Blais still hanging from the SUV. Blais fired at the driver, striking Rudolph in the leg.
After 200 yards, the SUV swerved to the right and Blais was thrown to the ground, suffering minor injuries, authorities said.
Rudolph allegedly ditched the SUV and was later found with a relative after an hours-long search, the sheriff’s office said. He was still hospitalized on Sunday morning for the gunshot wound, the sheriff's office said.
Authorities searching Rudolph's SUV found a handgun that was reported stolen three years ago, the sheriff's office said.