TAMPA — As a Hillsborough deputy tried to arrest a stalking suspect Wednesday night, the suspect reached for his waistband, the Sheriff's Office says.
For any law enforcement officer, that is a pivotal moment. While it could be a harmless move, there is always the potential it's not. Deputies know that people often tuck guns in their pants.
Jerrod M. Dantzler, 21, who lives just north of Tampa, was suspected of stalking his ex-girlfriend. She had called 911 on Wednesday after seeing him hiding in the back seat of her vehicle.
She was scared, she said, because he had hurt her in the past, deputies say.
Deputy J.J. Marcano arrived at the scene and saw Dantzler hiding behind a house. Dantzler started reaching toward his waistband, and the deputy ordered Dantzler to show his hands, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Dantzler complied, and that's when a loaded handgun with 17 live rounds fell from his waistband, deputies say.
Dantzler was arrested without incident and the Sheriff's Office soon learned that he was a felon and his gun's serial number had been removed.
Dantzler last got out of jail on Sept. 10 after being arrested on charges of domestic battery by strangulation and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
This time he was booked on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, tampering with a witness, possession of a firearm with the serial number removed, and loitering and prowling.