BWC: Driver intentionally rams Fla. deputy, causing serious injuries to both legs By:

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By Tony MarreroTampa Bay Times

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TAMPA, Fla. — Deputies have arrested a man who they say intentionally ran over a Hillsborough deputy in Tampa last week.

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Deputies arrested William Todd Lewis Jr., 24, in Pasco County on Monday in connection to the incident in Tampa Palms that left Deputy Kalin Hall with serious injuries to both legs.

Lewis, of Tampa, was in a rental car with a friend, and investigators believe he was trying to leave the area to avoid arrest, Sheriff Chad Chronister said Tuesday during a news conference in Tampa.

“He knew that the time was up, the gig was up, and his only option once again was to flee, and he was going to try to get away,” Chronister said.

Deputies also arrested Lewis’ girlfriend, Keilise Garrison, 23, on charges of being an accessory after the fact and tampering with evidence. Garrison was on the phone with Lewis the night of the incident, called his mother to pick him up afterward and then deleted text messages from her phone, deputies said.

Chronister said Lewis was the person behind the wheel of a black BMW that Hall pulled over about 12:05 a.m. Friday on Bearss Avenue near Nebraska Avenue. A K-9 handler for the sheriff’s office, Hall was working overtime on DUI patrol that night and noticed that the BMW driver was not staying in his lane, Chronister said.

Body camera video released by the sheriff’s office shows the BMW driver stopped, then speeding away as Hall was walking up the car.

About 20 minutes later, Hall spotted the BMW backed into a parking spot off Plantation Oaks Drive in Tampa Palms, Chronister said. When Hall got out of his patrol car, the BMW driver hit him and drove away.

The body camera video shows the BMW hitting Hall as soon as he gets out of his car. Hall can be heard calling for help on his radio.

“He ran over me!” Hall says. “I need EMS 10-18. My leg’s broken!”

Hall, 33, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with a fractured leg and a fractured ankle on the other leg.

“Showing zero regard for human life, making the determination that him eluding arrest was more important than this deputy’s life, he intentionally puts the car in gear, hits the gas, and runs the deputy over, leaving him laying on the side of the road like an injured dog,” Chronister said of Lewis on Tuesday.

After hitting Hall, Lewis called Garrison, told her what he’d done and asked for help. Lewis left the car in a parking lot about a mile away from the crash scene, Chronister said. Garrison called Lewis’ mother and said he needed her to go pick him up.

Lewis’ mother picked him up and brought him home. Within hours, deputies went to the home and questioned Lewis, Chronister said.

“He showed zero remorse, only denial,” Chronister said.

Lewis said he didn’t know where the BMW keys or phone were, but investigators got a search warrant for the home and found the keys and phone on a nightstand next to Lewis’ bed, Chronister said.

Investigators gathered more evidence and on Monday obtained an arrest warrant for Lewis. A surveillance team that had been watching Lewis saw a friend picking him up, renting a car, heading back to a house and loading up the rental car.

“Our surveillance team contacts us and says, ‘Hey, I think he’s headed into the abyss. I think he’s taking off,’” Chronister said.

Lewis and the friend headed north into Pasco County, the friend driving and Lewis in the passenger seat. When they stopped at a shopping center, Hillsborough deputies with help from Pasco deputies arrested both men. Chronister said Lewis told deputies that money his mother had given him was in the rental car and that he wanted an attorney.

Chronister said Hall didn’t see the driver who hit him but that investigators have gathered enough evidence, including data from his cellphone, to make a case against Lewis.

Lewis faces charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, leaving the scene of a crash with seriously bodily injury, reckless driving resulting in seriously bodily injury, aggravated fleeing to elude law enforcement with serious bodily injury, fleeing to elude law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

Deputies arrested the driver of the rental car, Zachoiry J. Carnegie, 24, on a drug possession charge after he was found with Xanax pills that were not prescribed to him, Chronister said.

Chronister said the investigation was ongoing and more arrests may be made.

Hall, an 11-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and a former linebacker for the University of South Florida , underwent surgery Friday to insert a rod in his leg and was released from the hospital on Saturday.

Video released by the sheriff’s office shows him leaning on a walker as colleagues and other supporters applauded.

“Since it was the Fourth of July, you know obviously we want to keep our community safe and try to get impaired motorists off the road, so that’s what I was doing,” he said. “Obviously, the traffic stop turned out to be a lot more than what I expected.”

Hall said when he spotted the BMW the second time, he pulled up to it in his unmarked patrol car.

“It was an opportunity that presented itself for me to try to block the car in,” he said. “I expected the driver to flee on foot. I was not expecting the car to be accelerating and driving around the backside of the car until it was too late. So I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’m very blessed and thankful to the man above for keeping me alive,” he said.

Hall said he is grateful for the support of friends, family, colleagues and the community, and he hopes to be back on the job with his K-9 partner in about four months.

“I got Kurfew waiting at home, he’s antsy to get back to work,” he said.

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