Injured Sheriff's Deputies Receive $20,000 Each In Community Donations

December 1, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

TAMPA, FL — Thanks to donations that have poured in from the community, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister presented sheriff’s Cpl. Carlos Brito and Deputy Manny Santos with $20,000 each to help cover their medical expenses after being run down by a car on Nov. 9.

“Community support leaves me humbled. Now, Cpl. Brito and Deputy Santos can focus solely on recovery,” Chronister said. “This contribution lightens their financial burden, offering support to their families during the holidays. It’s a powerful reminder of our community’s unity and compassion in times of need.”

Brito, 39, and Santos, 31, were rushed to the trauma center at Tampa General Hospital after a Brandon man with mental health issues mowed them down with his Nissan Altima outside his mother’s home on Dexwell Court in Heather Lakes subdivision in Brandon, the sheriff’s office said.

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Both deputies were struck by the Nissan driven by Ralph Bouzy, 28, with Brito crushed between his sheriff’s sports utility vehicle and the car.


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A piece of the femur bone in Brito’s leg became stuck between the Nissan and his sheriff’s SUV. The surgeon at Tampa General asked deputies at the scene to transport the piece of femur bone left at the scene to the hospital so he could use it to try to save Brito’s leg.

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Santos suffered a bilateral break in one leg and extensive ligament damage. He was released from the hospital on Nov. 12 while Brito remains hospitalized, undergoing surgeries to try to repair the damage to his leg.

“Everyone talks about the community helping and being involved, but it’s not until it happens to you that you actually feel the full force of the community,” said Brito from his hospital bed.

“Their medical expenses are covered,” said Chronister. “This was in the line of duty. But all the other expenses and loss of income along with what their wives will experience as they help them on this long road to recover, that’s why this money and this financial assistance is so important.”

Bouzy was eventually brought down by stun guns fired by two other deputies at the scene. He has been charged with three counts of attempted murder of law enforcement officers and is being held in the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.

Chronister said detectives have since learned that Bouzy has a long history of mental problems. There have been more than a dozen mental health cases in Hillsborough County Court involving Bouzy including four this year.

Additionally, Bouzy was previously charged with three felonies and 14 misdemeanors.

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