Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco man arrested after shots fired at Hernando detectives

HUDSON — A 19-year-old was arrested Friday morning after authorities say he fired shots at a pair of parked cars occupied by two undercover Hernando County sheriff's detectives.

The detectives were sitting in their vehicles about midnight outside Dee's Seafood & Steakhouse, 9821 Denton Ave., when a man in a 2006 Saturn Ion drove by and fired two shots, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

No one was injured. One bullet hit the restaurant. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has not released any information about the detectives involved.

"We had detectives following up on an investigation," Hernando sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Donna Black said. "The investigation is ongoing so no details can be revealed."

The detectives followed the shooter's car and called for backup, said Kevin Doll, Pasco sheriff's spokesman.

The car was stopped more than 8 miles north of the restaurant by a deputy in a marked Hernando sheriff's cruiser, Doll said. The arrest location was listed as 14900 County Line Road.

The shooting suspect was identified as Ricardo Manuel Soto of Port Richey. He was arrested on a charge of discharging a firearm from a vehicle in public.

Soto's first arrest was at 16 for battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was convicted, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Authorities believe Soto was the passenger in the vehicle. As the undercover detectives followed the Saturn, Soto fired a shot through the car's sunroof and injured his hand, Doll said.

Soto told investigators that shot was accidental.

The driver was not arrested. Doll would not release the driver's name.

Soto admitted to firing the gun, the arrest report says, but told investigators he "was not intending to shoot the building or the vehicles occupied by the two detectives."

Doll would not answer questions about the motive, or say whether the Sheriff's Office believes Soto purposely fired on undercover detectives, or was shooting at someone else, or just shooting without a specific target.

"Do we have an opinion on that?" Doll said. "Yes. But we're not commenting."

The Tampa Bay area has been devastated recently by the slayings of law enforcement officers in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

And there was a close call recently in New Port Richey. At 1:45 a.m. Feb. 17, a man refused to get out of a car during a traffic stop and fired at two New Port Richey police officers and a Pasco deputy. Sgt. Erik Jay could feel the bullet whiz past his head. The officers and deputy returned fire and killed the suspect: Jason Wilson, 29, a felon arrested on a concealed weapon charge in September. The case was due in court the next week.

Dee Holdaway, the former co-owner of Dee's Seafood & Steakhouse, told Bay News 9 she lives near the restaurant where the latest shots were fired.

"I heard gunshots," Holdaway said, "but that's not unusual in this neighborhood."

Soto is being held at the Pasco County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco man arrested after shots fired at Hernando detectives 03/04/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 6:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Colt Prattes and Abigail Breslin do the iconic lift scene in the remake of Dirty Dancing on ABC.
  2. Goodbye Tampa Bay Express, hello Tampa Bay Next; but toll lanes aren't going anywhere


    TAMPA — Tampa Bay Express is dead.

    But it's replacement — Tampa Bay Next — will likely include many of the same projects, including express toll lanes on the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge.

    The Florida Department of Transportation on Monday announced that it was renaming its Tampa Bay Express plan, also known as TBX. The plan will now be known as Tampa Bay Next, or TBN. DOT officials say there are still re-evaluating the most controversial aspect of the old TBX plan: spend $6 billion to add 90 miles of toll roads to bay area highways - Interstates 4,75 and 275 - that are currently free of tolls. But TBN will keep the plan to add express toll lanes to the rebuilt Howard Frankland Bridge. [Florida Department of Transportation]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay lands on Forbes 2017 ranking of best places for young professionals

    Working Life

    Consider this one more notch in the belt of Tampa Bay starting to win serious attention from millennials as place to live and build a career.

    Mike Griffin is a senior managing director in Tampa for Savills Studley Occupier Services, which provides integrated real estate services. He is also chairman for 2017 of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the first of the next generation of leadership emerging in this metro market. [Courtesy of Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce]
  4. Column: Trump beat Bush, Rubio but has become an 'establishment sellout'


    NYT’s Ross Douthat's Sunday column: Donald Trump, Establishment Sellout

  5. Haitians get a reprieve from Trump administration


    Haitians living in Florida, and the rest of the country, will be allowed to stay an additional six months, federal officials have decided.