Officials said a Florida deputy mayor, who worked one shift before retirement, was intentionally beaten and killed by a man fleeing law enforcement.
Corporal. Hillsborough County Sheriff, Chad Cronister, said during a news conference that Brian Lavigne, 54, had spent three decades in the department and was due to work his last day.
Sharif said MPs have arrested Travis Zachary Gabriel Jarrett, 28, and multiple charges remain pending.
“He never hit the brakes,” said Kronister. “There were no skid marks. He was intentionally running that car in the corporal.”
Earlier in the afternoon, MPs were summoned to Garrett’s apartment regarding erratic behavior. Garrett reportedly threw furniture and clothes from his balcony at an apartment complex in Brandon, near Tampa.
Representatives spoke to Garrett through the door, but since no crime had been committed, they cleared the call, Sharif said.
Shortly thereafter, residents called the mayor’s office saying that Garrett was naked and was throwing food at neighbors, Sharif said. This time when the representatives arrived, Garrett began attacking them and hit Michael Dorrej Jr.’s deputy in the head several times, officials said.
Sharif said multiple attempts to use Taser on Garrett have failed. Then Jarrett got in the car. The mayor said Garrett hit a rear gate and crossed two lanes of traffic to intentionally collide with the Lavigne patrol car on the driver’s side with the front of his car, Kronester said.
The sheriff said Garrett went “as fast as he could get that car going.”
Kronister said the scene of the crash was so devastating that MPs were not immediately able to reach Lavigne, who did not respond.
“He is unconscious,” said Kronister. “They do everything they can, from breaking windows to trying to crawl out of the rear window.”
Firefighters eventually used tools to release it. He was taken to hospital, but died of his wounds.
Lavigne survived his wife and two children, one of whom is also a deputy in the sheriff’s office.
“You can only imagine the pain they’re going through with them being just one shift away from retirement,” Kronester said.