Man Involved in Choking Woman Incident Near Applebee's Dies in Police Incident
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Man Involved in Choking Woman Incident Near Applebee’s Dies in Police Incident

After allegedly running from police onto the road and getting struck by a car, the man who is suspected of choking a woman in an Applebee’s parking lot has passed away.

It occurred on Friday around 2:20 a.m. on West Hillsborough Avenue close to Lois Avenue. After receiving reports about a man choking a woman, police said they were called to a parking lot next to Applebee’s.

According to reports, a good Samaritan attempted to step in as the police were called.

Officers reported that upon their arrival, they attempted to speak with the man—later identified as 29-year-old Frank Rodriguez—but were met with silence. According to reports, Rodriguez began to flee from police when they attempted to use a Taser to apprehend him.

Rodriguez rushed into Hillsborough Avenue and was struck by an oncoming automobile as the officer was using the Taser, according to the police. The motorist continued on.

Currently, investigators are searching for a blue, four-door automobile that may be a Nissan Altima. Rodriguez passed away right there. The woman’s wounds did not pose a threat to her life.

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According to the police, Rodriguez was being investigated for domestic abuse and criminal mischief following his arrest in Hillsborough County on May 20, 2024.

Officer Luis Garcia of the Tampa Police Department, who attended to the event on Friday, has been placed on administrative leave, as is customary when a someone passes away while under custody.

“We will turn that portion of the investigation, because it was an active arrest being made, over to FDLE, to assist us with that,” Tampa police spokesperson Ruth Cate stated. “We’ll consider it an in-custody death.” 

The eastbound lanes of West Hillsborough Avenue were blocked for many hours between Lois Avenue and Dale Mabry Highway due to the hit-and-run incident, and were reopened shortly before eight in the morning.


With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.