ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A 30-year-old Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputy was killed whereas trying to help stop a drunken driver who was main authorities on a high-speed chase.
Deputy Michael Magli had stopped his patrol automotive within the median on Wednesday to deploy stop sticks used to puncture tires when he was struck by the truck deputies had been chasing, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri mentioned throughout a information convention.
Gualtieri instructed reporters that Robert Allen Holzaepfel, 33, was driving beneath the affect and on a suspended license when he hit Magli.
Holzaepfel was arrested Wednesday evening, and is charged with first-degree felony homicide, DUI manslaughter, driving with no legitimate license leading to loss of life and aggravated fleeing and eluding legislation enforcement, the sheriff mentioned. He was on probation and has 16 prior felony convictions, Gualtieri added.
The chase started Wednesday afternoon, shortly after an East Lake Fire Rescue crew responded to a name about somebody handed out on the wheel at a crimson gentle, Gualtieri mentioned.
The crew broke a window, which wakened Holzaepfel, who then sped away in what the sheriff described as “extremely reckless and very dangerous.”
“He needed to be stopped or he was going to hurt someone else,” the sheriff mentioned. “The safest way to do it was to deflate the tires and not endanger anyone else.”
A short while later, Holzaepfel’s truck slammed into Magli, who was outdoors of his cruiser. The truck spun into the median, trapping the deputy beneath it, the sheriff mentioned.
“Deputy Magli was trying to protect people,” Gualtieri mentioned. “He stepped up like cops do and tried to keep people from being hurt and lost his life in the process.”
His loss of life comes weeks after a deputy in neighboring Hillsborough County was killed by a fleeing suspect.
Magli has been with the sheriff’s office since 2013. He labored part-time as a felony justice specialist on the courthouse, and labored full-time on patrol obligation after graduating from the police academy in 2014, officers mentioned.
He was married and had two youngsters. Gualtieri instructed reporters he was going to go to the deputy’s household on Wednesday evening.
Holzaepfel instructed deputies he was transient and residing out of his truck, the sheriff mentioned. A lawyer for Holzaepfel was not listed on jail data.
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