TAMPA, Fla.- A Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy was attacked on Wednesday during a traffic stop. The Sheriff’s Office is now looking for the suspect they say did it.
The attack occurred during a traffic stop at the Stop And Shop on 142nd Avenue East, north of Fletcher, in Hillsborough County. Police say the incident took place just before noon.
Deputy Steve Gutierrez was the deputy attacked. He pulled over a driver of the black Toyota because she didn’t appear to be wearing a seatbelt. The passenger of the car then got out of the vehicle, shoved the deputy, and a struggle took place.
The passenger has since been identified as Rodshee Jermaine Rayford, 37, of Tampa. Deputy Gutierrez used his taser on Rayford during the fight, but that “proved to be ineffective,” said the Sheriff’s Office.
Eventually Rayford ran off and the deputy was not able to catch him. Rayford is already wanted for a Parole Violation and is now wanted for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. The Sheriff’s Office describes Rayford as “dangerous and a habitual offender.” He has already been in trouble with the law before. Previous charges include Armed Robbery, Armed Carjacking, Kidnapping, and Assault.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help in finding and bring in Rayford. The public is asked that anyone with any information in reference to the suspect please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200. Anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS(8477). To report anonymously, go to www.crimestopperstb.com or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application, which can be downloaded for free on iPhones, iPads and Droids. To be eligible for the cash reward, you must be the first to call Crime Stoppers.