An Apopka man faces charges of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer after fleeing a traffic stop Saturday morning and dragging a Seminole County Deputy with his vehicle.
Saturday morning, near the intersection of County Road 46A and Interstate 4, Deputy Aaron Blais pulled over 38-year-old Rocky M. Rudolph, Jr. on suspicion of having illegal window tint on his SUV. During the process of questioning the motorist, Deputy Blais smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Rudolph became irate as Deputy Blais was further questioning him about the suspected marijuana. Deputy Blais then drew his service weapon as Rudolph was ignoring commands to show his hands, while also trying to prevent the suspect from placing the vehicle in drive. At that time, Rudolph drove off with Deputy Blais hanging on to the window while reaching for the weapon. Deputy Blais continued to order Rudolph to stop the vehicle and show his hands. Rudolph temporarily stopped the vehicle but continued to ignore the commands to show his hands and to put his vehicle in park. Rudolph again repeatedly reached for the deputy’s gun while again accelerating on to the I-4 westbound on-ramp into traffic, further endangering his life. Deputy Blais then fired his service weapon in an attempt to avoid being seriously injured or killed.
After approximately 200 yards, the vehicle veered to the right, and Deputy Blais was thrown to the ground. Blais was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and later released. Rudolph abandoned the SUV and ran from the area. After an hours-long search involving multiple jurisdictions, he was located in a vehicle driven by a family member and taken into custody. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. Rudolph was transported to a local hospital where he remained as of Sunday morning. Upon release, he will be booked into the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on multiple charges including Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer. Inside the suspect’s SUV, investigators located a handgun reported stolen out of Seminole County in 2016.
“This was a very dangerous situation. Our deputy’s life was put at risk by a career criminal who had no regard for his well-being,” said Sheriff Dennis Lemma. “I applaud Deputy Blais’s professionalism and dedication to duty.”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the officer-involved shooting. The deputy’s in-car and body-worn camera video can be accessed via this link: