Sheriff: Suspect steals, uses Taser on himself, deputy

- Three good Samaritans may have saved a deputy's life in Pasco County.

Monday afternoon, sheriff's deputy Darren Goodwald was wrestling with a suspect who was trying to flee near 10th St. and Pond Ave. in Dade City.

It started when the deputy tried to pull him over for driving a car with the wrong plates.

"He looked possessed," said one witness. "His eyes were very big. It was like he was foaming out of the mouth."

The witness said he tried to get into her car to get away.

"He was banging on the windows, [there was] blood everywhere," Jose Bernal said. 

Bernal heard the chase begin.

"He [was] behind him telling him to stop running," Bernal remembered.

Goodwald tackled him in this front yard, but Roque was able to get the deputy's taser, deploying it on both of them.

That's when things could have gotten even worse.

Investigators say the suspect, Bryan Roque went for the deputy's gun.

"[He was yelling] for help," said Bernal. "Because he was reaching for his gun. So I ran over there to help him out."

Bernal and a third witness held on until more deputies came.

"I grabbed one of his arms and grabbed him by his neck and tried to hold him still on the floor," Bernal said.

Deputy Goodwald thanked the men who stepped in and stopped the suspect from taking his sidearm.

"He helped me during a time I was in fear of my life," said Goodwald. "Every thought going through my mind said you might die. He put himself in harm's way to help me and I didn't even ask him to so I would say thank you, you're a great citizen."

Bernal says he didn't realize the gravity of the situation until after it was over when he realized what he risked, and what deputies risk every day.

"Once he started asking for help, you can't stand by and look when someone is asking for help," he said. "At the moment, [I was not scared.] Maybe after I thought about it I thought about what could have happened. At the moment, no."

Deputies say they are considering giving formal awards to Jose Bernal and Nelson Cruz.

They were in the right place at the right time and did the right thing.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Sheriff: Suspect steals, uses Taser on himself, deputy
  • Pier to get tram; city says project remains on track
  • Gas leak closes part of McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater
  • Fentanyl, cash, and firearms seized from suspected drug traffickers, officials say
  • Polk scaling back courtesy busing for students
  • Lakeland man arrested for DUI manslaughter following death of female driver, troopers say
  • Dogs blamed after 15 animals attacked in Polk County
  • Mulberry students killed in car crash honored Monday evening
  • TPD offering holiday home checks for travelers
  • Stone crabs take hit from red tide