Sunday, July 22, 2018
Public safety

Hit-run driver who refused to leave van threatened to shoot, Hillsborough deputies say

TAMPA — Eddie Carly Colon Soto peeked his head out the broken side window of his van as a SWAT team closed in.

Ninety minutes earlier, deputies say, Soto had caused a crash by running a red light at Nebraska and Fletcher avenues. Now, he was holed up in a white Ford passenger van, stalled out in the middle of Nebraska's southbound lanes and refusing to get out after threatening to shoot deputies.

Then, as television news cameras rolled inside helicopters overhead, the 39-year-old Tampa man hurled himself head first out the window, landing on the pavement. Moments later, Soto was in custody, ending a tense standoff that closed one of Tampa's busiest intersections during rush hour.

The incident began about 7:40 a.m. Thursday as Soto, heading north on Nebraska, ran the red light, said sheriff's Maj. David Fleet. A Nissan Maxima heading east on Fletcher t-boned the van, causing both vehicles to spin out of control.

Instead of stopping, Soto sped up and fled south on Nebraska, wheels spinning, at one point driving on the sidewalk. Disabled from the crash, the van stopped in the middle of the southbound lanes, Fleet said.

When deputies arrived and approached the van, Soto told them he had a gun and threatened to shoot them, Fleet said.

"At that point they backed off, attempted to talk to him and negotiate with him to get him to come out of his vehicle," he said.

When Soto refused to get out, deputies called the sheriff's crisis negotiation team and evacuated nearby businesses.

A couple of blocks south of the scene, deputies stood on the side of Nebraska ready to deploy stop sticks in case he tried to flee. Onlookers, some with cell phone cameras pointed at the scene, gathered on the sidewalk in the blazing sun.

At some point, Soto broke out the rear window on the driver's side of the van. A deflated air bag dangled over gaping hole like a curtain.

Shortly after 9 a.m., as SWAT members positioned a large armored vehicle behind the van and television news cameras rolled, Soto threw himself out of the window. He landed on the pavement, kicking off his Nike tennis shoes and shorts that had been yanked to his ankles during the fall.

Lying in the road in his boxer briefs, Soto kept one hand concealed underneath his black T-shirt. Because he refused to show his hands, Fleet said, a tactical team member let loose a sheriff's dog that latched onto Soto's stomach. SWAT members armed with rifles converged on Soto and struggled with him for a moment to get both hands behind his back.

A moment later, he sat on the pavement, his hands cuffed behind him and his chest heaving as an ambulance pulled up.

Soto was taken to a local hospital to be treated for dog bites that Fleet described as minor. He was later released and booked into the Hillsborough County jail on charges of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and reckless driving. Other charges may follow, Fleet said.

The woman driving the Nissan was also taken to a hospital to be treated for serious injuries. Her name was not released.

Deputies did not find a gun on Soto and were working to get a warrant to search the van.

Records show Soto has one previous arrest in Florida, a 2006 charge of harboring a fugitive. The disposition of the case was not available Thursday.

Senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

Comments
NAACP to hold vigil for man killed in ‘stand your ground’ shooting Thursday

NAACP to hold vigil for man killed in ‘stand your ground’ shooting Thursday

A local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding a vigil Sunday for a black man who was killed Thursday in what authorities are calling a "stand your ground" shooting.The vigil for the family of Markeis McGl...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Duck boat tragedy kills nine members of the same family

Duck boat tragedy kills nine members of the same family

BRANSON, Mo. - The Coleman family had initially thought of going on a vacation to Florida for their annual trip, but the drive was too long for some elderly relatives who wanted to join. The Colemans settled on going to Branson, a southwestern Missou...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Pasco Sheriff’s Office releases names of two killed in apparent murder-suicide Saturday

Pasco Sheriff’s Office releases names of two killed in apparent murder-suicide Saturday

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office have released the names of two people killed in what investigators believe was a murder-suicide Saturday.At about 1 p.m. Saturday, Alisa Medovich, 23, of Holiday, was shot and killed by Mario Medina...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police are looking for a motorist who they say killed a man in an early Saturday morning hit and run.About 2 a.m. Saturday, a 38-year-old man was hit by a car travelling east on the 3600 block of E Columbus Dr. in Tampa, according to a Tampa Po...
Published: 07/21/18
4 indicted in Florida shooting death of rapper XXXTentacion

4 indicted in Florida shooting death of rapper XXXTentacion

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida grand jury has indicted four men on first-degree murder and armed robbery charges in the shooting death of emerging rap star XXXTentacion. Broward County panel formally charged Dedrick Williams, 22; Michael Boatwrigh...
Published: 07/21/18
Police arrest Dunedin man for shooting pregnant girlfriend, lying about home invasion

Police arrest Dunedin man for shooting pregnant girlfriend, lying about home invasion

DUNEDIN — Authorities on Friday arrested a 19-year-old for shooting his pregnant girlfriend and then lying about a home invasion.Charles Tenpenny was distraught over accidentally shooting his girlfriend, 18-year-old Naomi Rosado, who was 20 weeks pre...
Published: 07/21/18
Hillsborough fire rescue engine hit while responding to another accident

Hillsborough fire rescue engine hit while responding to another accident

HILLSBOROUGH — A car slammed into the back of Hillsborough County fire rescue truck as it was responding to a separate single vehicle accident Saturday morning.The driver of the black Toyota Corolla became trapped inside the vehicle. Firefighters fro...
Published: 07/21/18
Hillsborough detention deputy charged with DUI

Hillsborough detention deputy charged with DUI

HILLSBOROUGH — A Hillsborough County detention deputy was arrested for driving under the influence early Saturday morning. Jose Cruz, 31, was driving his 2011 Ford Ranger in the McDonald’s parking lot at 9870 301 Highway South. Deputies were alerted ...
Published: 07/21/18
Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

Sheriff’s Office warns of IRS phone scams in Pinellas County

pinellasSheriff warns of phone scammers pretending to be irsBeware of callers saying they’re with the IRS and demanding payments, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office warned Friday.According to a news release from the agency, scammers have been phoni...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police identify man killed in shooting at South Tampa McDonald’s

Police identify man killed in shooting at South Tampa McDonald’s

TAMPA — A man died early Saturday after he was shot Friday night in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant in South Tampa.Nicholas A. Mortazavi, 20, was pronounced dead about 3:30 a.m., police said.Police responded to the restaurant at 3515 S Dal...
Published: 07/20/18
Updated: 07/21/18