Suspect Dead after Deputy-Involved Shooting in Pasco
One Pasco detention deputy had minor injuries.
PASCO COUNTY – A suspect died Friday (Aug. 5) morning after an off-duty detention deputy shot him in self defense, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Ronald Robbibaro, 30, died at the scene. Mr. Robbibaro had a history of four DUIs, including one in Alabama, and was arrested for disorderly intoxication in 2010 and domestic battery and
resisting with violence in 2015, the Pasco sheriff said.
Detention deputy Jeffrey Pyle, 33, was taken to a local hospital with minor facial and neck injuries. He was treated and released. Pyle has worked for the Pasco sheriff since June 2007.
Detention Deputy Paul Van Steen, 51, was uninjured. He has worked for the Pasco sheriff since June 1995. He is a sergeant.
Both deputies were off duty at the time.
Deputies said the day’s events began about 5 a.m. when a woman in Hernando County called to say she thought she was being followed. Deputies stopped Mr. Robbibaro, who denied he was following anyone. With no outstanding warrants against him, deputies allowed him to leave. He continued south on U.S. 41 and was involved in a car crash in Hernando.
He fled the scene in his Nissan and continued southbound into Pasco County on U.S. 41. In the area of County Line Road/U.S. 41, deputies said he abandoned his car. Witnesses said they saw him him running along southbound 41.
A Coca Cola trucking office, 18638 U.S. 41, was about 1,000 yards from where he abandoned the Nissan. The Coca Cola office is enclosed by a locked chain link fence. Inside the locked fence, an employee was readying a Coca Cola tractor trailer, but had not the trailer to the truck.
Mr. Robbibaro entered the fenced area and stole the truck without the trailer. Video surveillance provided by Coca Cola shows him ramming the gate and fleeing southbound onto 41, deputies said.
Van Steen was headed into work in his personal vehicle, a Ford Mustang, when he saw the defendant crash through the fence. Van Steen followed the truck and called 911. At the same time, Pyle, who was also heading into work in his Ford truck, saw the same incident. He followed Van Steen and Robbibaro.
At the intersection of Somerset Acres/U.S. 41, Robbibaro hit the brakes. So did Van Steen. Robbibaro began backing up. Van Steen also began backing up to avoid a collision. Robbibaro backed the truck onto the hood of Van Steen’s Mustang. Van Steen kept backing up until he was out of harm’s way.
While Robbibaro was crashing into Van Steen’s Mustang, Pyle drove around them and parked on the side of the road. He also called 911 and said Robbibaro was driving the truck straight at him.
Fearing for his life, Pyle fired one round at the truck’s windshield. The truck slammed into the driver’s side of the Mustang, which pushed it back into the roadside ditch.
The defendant got out of the Coca Cola truck and tried to steal Pyle’s truck via the open driver’s door, deputies said. Pyle ordered Robbibaro to get on the ground. Robbibaro got back into the truck and tried to back away from the truck. Pyle went to turn off his truck but Robbibaro came up behind him and put him in a choke hold. Deputies said both fell to the ground with Robbibaro on his back and Pyle on his back on top of Robbibaro.
Pyle told deputies Robbibaro was choking him to the point he felt as if he was losing consciousness. Fearing for his life, he shot Robbibaro. Pyle again called 911 and waited for help.
The case is still under investigation.
For information about the Pasco sheriff, go to pascosheriff.com.
Photo courtesy of the Pasco County Sheriff.
Pasco Sheriff | Deputy-Involved Shooting | Ronald Robbibaro | TB Reporter
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