Tampa Fire Rescue Captain Faces Dui Charges for Sleeping in Running Pickup Truck

Tampa Fire Rescue Captain Faces Dui Charges for Sleeping in Running Pickup Truck

According to the documents, deputies spotted a Tampa Fire Rescue captain asleep behind the wheel of a pickup truck that was stopped at an intersection in Tampa on Monday. The captain was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

An arrest document states that Rodger M. Shipp, 49, was taken into custody at around 1:30 in the morning at the junction of 78th Street and Causeway Boulevard, which is located in the Palm River-Clair Mel neighborhood.

A 911 caller reported seeing someone passed out behind the wheel of a pickup truck, which prompted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department to rush to the junction. According to the affidavit, the Ford truck had been parked at the intersection for three to four light cycles while it was locked and running the whole time.

The deputies began banging on the windows in an effort to wake up Shipp. When that didn’t work, the deputies busted a window in the back passenger seat out of worry for his wellbeing.

An officer indicated in the arrest report that the suspect “continued to remain unresponsive even after the loud break of the window.” This was after the window had broken loudly.

Just as the deputies were about to enter the door, Shipp sprang awake. The pickup was in drive, but Shipp had his foot on the brake the entire time.

According to the affidavit, deputies noticed that Shipp’s speech was slurred and they detected the odor of alcohol on his breath. He refused to submit to a field sobriety test and also rejected to produce a breath sample. He also denied to get medical care.

According to the documents, Shipp was freed later on Monday afternoon after paying a bond amount of $500.

When a reporter from the Tampa Bay Times called him, Shipp answered the phone and told the reporter that he would provide the reporter’s information to his attorney. By the time Thursday morning rolled around, the attorney had not been in touch with the Times.

It was not obvious what Shipp’s employment situation was. The city authorities did not offer any replies to the queries that were asked by the Times as of Thursday morning.


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