The wife of Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee was injured in a traffic crash Thursday morning in Valrico when her car was struck by a reported gang member who had just threatened to kill a gas station clerk, authorities said.
Rhonda Gee, 42, suffered possible head injuries when her 2012 Dodge was hit by a 1995 Buick at Bloomingdale Avenue and Lithia Pinecrest Road sometime after 7:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The driver of the Buick, Raul de Alejandro, 21, of Dover, had gotten into an argument with the clerk at the at 3353 Lithia Pinecrest Road after the clerk refused to sell him cigarettes because he had no identification to prove his age, officials said.
De Alejandro is listed as a certified "Dover Locos" gang member with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, according to sheriff's office spokesman Larry McKinnon.
"De Alejandro threatened to leave the store and return to kill the clerk," McKinnon said in a media release. "The clerk and store patrons followed de Alejandro out to his car to get his tag number when de Alejandro stated, 'I'll just kill you now,' " McKinnon said.
De Alejandro's 16-year-old sister was waiting in the car and began screaming, "no, don't do it" after de Alejandro reached back in between the seats implying he had a gun, McKinnon said.
De Alejandro fled the parking lot in his car after the clerk warned him the sheriff's office was on its way. That's when de Alejandro struck Gee's car as she was driving through the intersection. He then fled the crash scene before breaking down on the side of the road a short distance away.
A passing motorist followed de Alejandro and was able to direct deputies to him. He was taken into custody without further incident, McKinnon said.
Gee was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she is being examined for possible head injuries, officials said.
De Alejandro and his sister were not injured in the crash.
De Alejandro is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, leaving a crash with injuries, leaving the scene with property damage, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and disorderly conduct.
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