Police physically restrain armed man

OKEECHOBEE — Local police had to physically restrain a visibly upset man Saturday who was allegedly armed with a handgun and was driving around the house of a former girlfriend.

Police arrest reports document how Stanislaus Rodrigues, 36, sent threatening text messages to the woman that said she, and her family, were dead.

Stanislaus Rodrigues, 36

When officers from the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD) were finally able to get control of Rodrigues, a paraplegic, he was arrested on felony charges of fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and written threats to kill. He was also charged with resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.

Rodrigues was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on an $11,000 bond. Jail records indicate he was released on bond.

An arrest report by Officer Cesar Romero indicated the April 22 incident started when his agency was contacted by the Seminole Police Department (SPD), who warned the local agency that Rodrigues had been trespassed from the reservation. The report said he “… became very upset and irate.”

The SPD also requested OCPD officers check on the welfare of the man’s former girlfriend.

Around 2:14 p.m. Officer Romero met with the woman, who verified she had received those texts and that she’s afraid of Rodrigues because he supposedly carries a gun.

According to the officer’s report his agency was contacted around 2:52 p.m. that Rodrigues was at the woman’s home, and he was armed.

When Officer Romero arrived he found the man sitting in a black Mini Cooper that was parked in front of the residence. Although the officer ordered Rodrigues to put his hands on the steering wheel, the man reportedly refused to do so.

The officer then moved closer so he could better see the man’s hands.

“At that point he (Rodrigues) began to roll up his window and lock the doors, while driving away through (the woman’s) yard,” stated the officer.

Officer Romero said he ran along side the vehicle and ordered the man to stop. But, he didn’t.

“Rodrigues drove around the house at least twice, blowing the horn, before coming to a stop in the front yard right by the front door,” noted the officer.

Officer Romero ran to the driver’s side door with his duty weapon drawn, while Sergeant P.C. Eddings was able to open a door. This allowed the officer to reach in and pull Rodrigues from the car.

The officer went on to point out a Springfield Armory XD 40 handgun was found behind the passenger seat “… that was within the driver’s reach.”

Even though the officers had the man on the ground he would not allow them to gain control of his hands so they could handcuff him. Both Officer Romero and Sgt. Eddings tried to stun the man with their tasers, but to no avail.

Finally, a third officer joined in and they were then able to cuff Rodrigues.
Rodrigues, continued the officer, then complained he was having trouble breathing so emergency medical personnel was called to the scene. When they were finished evaluating Rodrigues, he was placed under arrest.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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