PORT RICHEY — Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in two separate incidents last Tuesday involving dangerous and violent actions by suspects during traffic stops.
The first occurred in the early morning hours of Oct. 16. Deputies initiated a traffic stop at about 1:18 a.m. on a white Chevy Colorado rental truck for running a stop sign. The driver, 25-year-old Joseph Lee Paul of Port Richey, failed to stop and accelerated toward a dead end on Allyson Street near Zimmerman Road. According to the affidavit, Paul made a U-turn and drove directly at the deputy’s stopped vehicle before maneuvering around “at the last second” and fleeing the scene.
A pursuit lasting about 10 minutes ensued, with Paul hitting speeds of approximately 110 mph and at times driving on the wrong side of the road.
Paul came to a stop, eventually, though he refused to show his hands. Paul was removed from the vehicle and the report states he resisted arrest by placing his right hand between the ground and his stomach and refused handcuffing.
A search of the vehicle found a bag of ecstasy/MDMA, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription pills and marijuana scattered throughout the front floorboard of the driver’s seat and front passenger seat.
Further investigation found Paul did not have a valid driver’s license out of the state of Florida or Georgia. While Paul was being taken into custody, the report states he was observed eating and attempting to swallow unknown items. He was also seen throwing bags of an unknown item out of the window of his vehicle during the pursuit. The bags were later recovered and had narcotics residue on them.
A passenger in the vehicle stated that Paul was eating narcotics as well as throwing them out the window during the pursuit.
The second incident occurred on the other side of the county, during the afternoon hours of Oct. 16 and involved a more aggressive and violent encounter, much of which was captured on the deputy’s body camera.
Deputy Darren Goodwald initiated a traffic stop on a grey Dodge Caravan on 10th Street near Pond Avenue in Dade City because the tag did not match the vehicle. The driver, 30-year-old Bryan Stephen Roque of Plant City, fled on foot and ran around a home in the neighborhood.
Roque returned to the vehicle but could not start it and fled again. The Caravan was not in gear and rolled into Goodwald’s vehicle as Roque attempted to force a female driver from a silver Nissan. Goodwald was in pursuit on foot, and Roque abandoned his carjacking attempt and fled again.
As seen on the deputy’s body camera footage, Goodwald caught Roque and had the suspect on the ground north of Pond Avenue on 10th Street. Rather than comply with Goodwald’s commands, Roque began fighting back and deployed the deputy’s taser, causing it to strike both himself and Goodwald.
Roque then attempted to take Goodwald’s firearm as the deputy was struggling to recover from the taser shock. During the dramatic struggle displayed and heard on Goodwald’s body camera, two residents intervened to assist the deputy before another deputy arrived and deployed his taser on Roque.
Roque was arrested on multiple charges and transported to Bayfront Health Dade City for medical clearance before being taken to jail.