ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A traffic stop of a man believed to have stolen items from an Orange Park Walmart store Saturday morning left a Clay County deputy in the hospital and resulted in an attempted murder of a law enforcement officer charge against the driver.
Deputies said Tomy Lee Byrd, 47, stole multiple items from the store on Blanding Boulevard and had threatened to harm an employee if he or she intervened.
Deputy David Voller and other deputies patrolling the Wells Road area saw Byrd's white Dodge truck near the intersection of Wells Road and Blanding Boulevard about 10:30 a.m. and pulled him over. Voller noticed the items reported stolen in the bed of the truck.
An Orange Park Police Department detective also assisted in the traffic stop by pulling his vehicle in front of Byrd's truck.
At one point, Voller asked Byrd to step out of the vehicle. The sheriff's office said Byrd started his truck, put it in drive and accelerated forward, hitting the detective's vehicle. Voller's leg became trapped under the rear tire of the vehicle.
Byrd was unable to move forward further, put his vehicle in reverse, running over Deputy Voller's leg again. Byrd was removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest.
Deputies said after Byrd was taken into custody, he showed signs of delirium and was taken to Orange Park Medical Center. He was cleared and released into police custody for questioning.
Voller received minor injuries to his leg and was also released from the hospital.
Byrd, 47, faces multiple charges including robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and attempted felony murder. Deputies said he also kicked a Clay County paramedic in the face. Charges are pending for that crime.
Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler released a statement:
Law enforcement personnel were in a deadly confrontation with an out of control suspect who was unfazed by all less-lethal efforts to stop him. We are fortunate to not have a deceased deputy or a deceased suspect today."