Sunday, January 21, 2018
Public safety

USF defensive back Hassan Childs arrested in Tampa road-rage incident

TAMPA — University of South Florida football player Hassan Childs has been arrested on assault and marijuana-possession charges in the wake of a suspected road-rage incident late Saturday that left him with gunshot wounds.

Tampa police said Monday that Childs, 22, was shot after he twice pointed a gun at a car carrying a family of three.

He faces three counts of aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor marijuana possession. He was placed under arrest at a local hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.

A statement released by USF indicated that the defensive back would be withheld indefinitely from football-related activities.

"When the university learns of an arrest, the student involved may be subject to discipline in accordance with USF's Student Code of Conduct," the statement said.

"State and federal privacy laws protecting the confidentiality of student records, including disciplinary actions, prevent the university from commenting further about the matter involving Childs."

The Tampa Police Department gave this account of the incident:

Jovanni Jimenez, 26, was driving east on Skipper Road with his wife and 3-year-old son, when he noticed a Chevy Malibu tailgating and trying to pass him.

He pulled over into the Eagles Point Apartments, about a mile from the USF campus, to let the Malibu pass, police said. Childs, driving alone in the Malibu, pulled up to the passenger side of Jimenez's stopped car.

Jimenez's wife, Jennifer, saw Childs pointing a gun toward them but her husband did not see it, police said.

Jovanni Jimenez continued driving and his wife told him about the gun. Jimenez removed his own gun from his waistband and placed it on the seat next to his leg, police said.

Childs continued to tailgate and Jimenez again pulled over and stopped his car. Childs approached the driver's side of Jimenez's car and pointed a handgun toward Jovanni Jimenez, according to the report.

Jimenez fired three shots at Childs, striking him in the upper right arm, torso and beneath his arm.

Jimenez drove home and immediately phoned 911, the report said.

Both men hold active concealed weapons permits, according to Tampa police. A loaded gun was recovered from Childs' vehicle. Police also found fewer than 20 grams of marijuana.

When reached late Monday outside a home in west Hillsborough County, Jennifer Jimenez declined to comment on what took place. A man ushered her and her son inside the home.

When asked if investigators had ruled out criminal charges against Jovanni Jimenez, a police spokeswoman said the investigation is still active with evidence being collected and examined.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office will make the final determination of charges.

"We will carefully evaluate the matter for potential charges once TPD completes its investigation and forwards the matter to our office for review," said Rena Frazier, spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office.

Jimenez has a minor criminal record that includes a 2012 arrest for resisting an officer, to which he pleaded no contest.

Childs has no Florida criminal record. His mother, Renita King-Childs, declined to comment when reached Monday, but said in a Facebook post on Sunday her son was "100% the victim."

Times senior news researcher John Martin and staff writer Tony Marrero contributed to this report. Contact Dan Sullivan at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386. Follow @TimesDan.

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