A traffic stop for window tinting led to a nearly eight-hour manhunt Saturday after an armed man dragged a Seminole County deputy with his car while trying to flee, according to authorities.
Seminole County Sheriff Dennis Lemma said after a deputy pulled Rocky Rudolph Jr., over for a window tinting infraction around 9:40 a.m., the deputy smelled marijuana in the car and Rudolph turned combative.
Lemma said Rudolph, 38, tried to flee and dragged the deputy twice at 40 to 50 mph down a road in Lake Mary, Florida.
Lemma said the deputy was able to fire shots at Rudolph, who was also armed, striking Rudolph in the leg. The sheriff said the deputy was thrown from the car just before it entered the interstate, where Rudolph lost control and bailed from the car on foot.
The sheriff said the incident was caught on body and dashboard cameras.
It wasn’t until almost eight hours later that law enforcement officers caught up with Rudolph in Longwood, the sheriff said.
Lemma said an off-duty Belle Isle officer noticed a suspicious vehicle in his neighborhood and called law enforcement. When deputies responded, they said they found Rudolph in the car driven by someone they believe to be his daughter.
“This is a bad dude who almost killed one of our deputy sheriffs on the side of the road,” Lemma said.
Lemma said Rudolph has a lengthy criminal record, having been charged over the years with 32 felonies. He said Rudolph will now be charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
The sheriff said Rudolph is in a hospital being treated for his gunshot wound and that the deputy was released from a hospital Saturday afternoon.
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