The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that a deputy has died after a suspect intentionally rammed his vehicle into the deputy’s police cruiser.
The incident was report on Monday around 3:42 p.m. at the Paddock Club Apartments.
Authorities say deputies responded to a call about a man throwing furniture and clothing out of both his windows and his front door. The call also told authorities that the resident threatened the apartment staff in the past.
When authorities arrived at the complex, they were unable to make contact with the suspect and left the area.
Authorities then received another call from the complex about the resident stating that “The resident is now naked and throwing cookies at neighbors outside his apartment,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
When authorities arrived for the second time, they finally made contact with the resident identified as 28-year-old Travis Garrett. Garrett was said to have struck a deputy in the head with his fist and in return, the deputy to deploy his taser. Despite being struck with the taser, Garrett was said to have been unaffected. had Garrett was to have then jumped into his vehicle and left the area.
Deputies began pursing Garrett at high rates of speed when Garrett decided to merge over several lanes struck a deputy’s vehicle.
“Mr. Garrett intentionally switches two lanes and goes into the turn lane to strike Cpl. Lavigne’s vehicle,” Sheriff Chronister said.
Authorities at the scene attempted to get to the Cpl. who was said to be unconscious and trapped in his vehicle, however, they were unsuccessful. Fire rescue was called to the scene and used the Jaws of Life to free the Cpl. He was then taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.
According to reports, Cpl. Lavigne was on the force for 30-years and was just days away from retirement and had only one more shift left.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
“Master Corporal Brian LaVigne was a part of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office family since 1990, and he was just one shift away from retirement. We will never forget Master Corporal LaVigne for laying down his life in the line of duty.” – Sheriff Chad Chronister pic.twitter.com/k9H256bDKF
— HCSO (@HCSOSheriff) January 12, 2021
Garrett has been charged with First Degree Felony Murder, DUI Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (2 counts), Resisting Arrest with violence (2 counts), Felony Criminal Mischief, and Aggravated Fleeing to Elude.