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Man accused of attacking wife with van

A week after a judge ordered Johnny Tomlinson to stay away from his wife, he rammed her car off the road early Friday and then fled, according to Hillsborough Sheriff's Office investigators.

The confrontation between Rachel and Johnny Tomlinson, both 28, began shortly after midnight in eastern Hillsborough, according to the Sheriff's Office. Rachel Tomlinson was dropping a friend off, and her husband was hiding in nearby brush. Johnny Tomlinson emerged from the bushes and kicked and punched her windshield, cracking it, according to a sheriff's report.

Rachel Tomlinson drove off in her Honda Civic, and Tomlinson got into a purple van and followed her. He allegedly rammed her car several times from behind, then sideswiped her into a ditch at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and McIntosh Road.

"The ditch was so deep, the deputy drove right by at first because he couldn't see her car," sheriff's spokesman Lt. Rod Reder said.

Tomlinson was served last week with a domestic violence injunction requested by his wife. "He gave her what amounted to a death threat," Reder said. "So he was told: No contact, no calls, don't come within 500 feet of her."

State criminal records show Tomlinson was sentenced to six months probation in 1997 for aggravated battery. In 2002, he was charged with failing to appear before a judge on charges of violating another domestic violence injunction.

Anyone with information on Tomlinson's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

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