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[06-21-24] Man Choking Woman Near Applebee’s Killed After Hit by Car While Running Away From Officers

TAMPA, Fla. — A man accused of choking a woman in an Applebee’s parking lot is dead after he reportedly ran from police into the road where he was hit by a car.

It happened around 2:20 a.m. Friday on West Hillsborough Avenue near Lois Avenue. Officers said they responded to a parking lot near the Applebee’s after getting calls about a man choking a woman.

A good Samaritan reportedly tried to intervene while police were on the way.

When they arrived, officers said they tried to talk to the man, later identified as 29-year-old Frank Rodriguez, but were ignored. Rodriguez reportedly started running away from officers as they tried to detain him using a Taser.

As the officer was firing the Taser, Rodriguez ran into Hillsborough Avenue and was hit by an oncoming car, police said. The driver didn’t stop.

Detectives are now looking for a blue four-door sedan, possibly a Nissan Altima.

Rodriguez died at the scene. The woman’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Police said Rodriguez had pending felony charges for domestic violence and criminal mischief from a May 20, 2024, arrest in Hillsborough County.

Tampa Police Officer Luis Garcia, who responded to Friday’s incident, has been placed on administrative leave — standard procedure for when someone dies in custody.

“We will turn that portion of the investigation, because it was an active arrest being made, over to FDLE, to assist us with that,” Tampa police spokesperson Ruth Cate said during a news conference. “We’ll consider it an in-custody death.”

Because of the hit-and-run, the eastbound lanes of West Hillsborough Avenue were shut down between Lois Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway for several hours before opening just before 8 a.m.

Source : 10 Tampa Bay

(Credit : CBS News)

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If you or a loved one were involved in or affected by this accident and would like the incident’s official Police Report, Personal Injury Attorneys McQuaid & Douglas might be able to help.

Car accidents happen all too often in the United States. According to the U.S. Transportation Department, the number of traffic deaths nationwide surged in the first nine months of 2021 to 31,720. The number was 12 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and the highest nine-month figure since 2006.

The bustling cities of Florida are a hotbed for possible car accidents. Highways such as the I-4, US-1, and I-10, are some of the deadliest roadways in Florida and unfortunately provide many opportunities for potentially serious car accidents.

Following the nationwide trend, Florida car accidents have also been on the rise. According to the Florida Highway Patrol and Motor Vehicles database, statewide fatalities from crashes were up nearly 10 percent from 3,332 fatalities in 2020 to 3,629 in 2021. It was also ranked third most dangerous state to drive in, according to a report by Uplift Legal Funding.

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