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Deputies 'Fight for Their Lives' During Traffic Stop

Deputies 'Fight for Their Lives' During Traffic Stop

The girlfriend of the victim shot by a deputy after a confrontation stands by her car, near where the shooting occurred.

The Palm Beach Post via YellowBrix

April 09, 2010

WEST PALM BEACH — Two deputies who were “fighting for their lives” this morning, wrestled with an impaired motorist and even used stun guns before one of the deputies fatally shot the man, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said.

The man’s name has not been released.

Bradshaw said two deputies on patrol this morning spotted a blue Ford Explorer apparently broken down on westbound Summit Boulevard at the intersection of Jog Road about 6:30 a.m.

Seeing that the man was impaired — investigators still aren’t sure by what — the deputies decided to call his girlfriend to come and get him rather than arrest him.

However, when the man learned his car was going to be towed, he became enraged and “an extremely violent struggle ensued,” according to Bradshaw.

He said the man and the two deputies then fell to the ground, and the man was struck twice with stun guns, but with little effect.

With the deputies “out of gas” and fearing the man would get one of their guns, one of the deputies fired at least two shots, Bradshaw said.

Jorge Perezz, who lives about 100 yards south of the intersection, said he was just waking up when he heard five quick shots, then screaming.

The presence of several yellow crime scene markers on the ground next to the girlfriend’s red Toyota, about 30 feet from the dead motorist’s Explorer, suggests both that the scuffle occurred there and that more than two shots were fired.

However, officers on the scene are still investigating.

The motorist was taken to Delray Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. The two deputies suffered minor injuries in the scuffle, Bradshaw said.

The dead motorist had a 2006 arrest for an earlier assault on a law-enforcement officer, as well as previous DUI charges, Bradshaw said.

Westbound traffic on Summit is still being blocked at Pine Jog Road, just east of Jog Road.

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