Courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
VALRICO, Florida - UPDATE: Rhonda Gee has been released from the hospital.
The wife of Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee remained at Tampa General Hospital for observation Thursday night after a hit and run crash involving a suspected gang member.
The Sheriff's Office says Rhonda Gee, 42, was on her way to work when her SUV was T-boned on the passenger side by 22-year-old Raul de Alejandro.
Investigators say de Alejandro is a known member of the "Dover Locos" gang and was fleeing from a nearby Hess Gas Station after threatening to kill the clerk for not selling him cigarettes.
"He ran to his car, motioned as though he had a firearm, and was reaching underneath his seat," said Major Clyde Eisenberg of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
"The clerk was calling 911. The suspect got scared and fled the parking lot rapidly and that's when the accident occurred."
After the crash, Mrs. Gee called 911, and Sheriff David Gee rushed to the accident scene riding to Tampa General Hospital in the ambulance with his wife.
A witness to the crash, who asked not to be identified, followed the suspect's car until it broke down several blocks away.
"It ain't right. It could have been my wife, your wife, or anybody," said the witness who led deputies to the suspect after checking on Mrs. Gee.
"The whole car went up and back down. Stuff was flying everywhere. I thought she was hurt."
Sheriff's deputies say de Alejandro was taken into custody and booked into the Orient Road Jail on charges including:
- Leaving a Crash with Injuries
- Leaving the Scene with Property Damage
- Aggravated assault with a Firearm
- Disorderly Conduct
He was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because he had his teenage sister in the car at the time of the incident.
"His actions, for not being able to buy some cigarettes are egregious," said Major Eisenberg. "This individual is in jail and that's where he belongs."
Sheriff's wife injured in hit and run crash
Beau Zimmer, 10 News