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 June 22nd, 2008  
Knife-wielding St. Lucie County resident shot by deputy after refusing to surrender, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara
A 46-year-old St. Lucie County resident who menaced deputies early this morning with a knife  and refused to surrender was shot by a deputy in the unincorporated neighborhood of Spanish Lakes Riverfront west of U.S.1 and south of Prima Vista Boulevard, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.

“Deputies must place their own safety first when confronted with an armed suspect who refuses repeated, lawful commands to surrender his weapon,” Sheriff Mascara said. “We will conduct a thorough administrative review of the situation, but it appears that the deputy who fired his service weapon acted appropriately.”

Deputy Brian Rhodes, 39, a seven-year veteran of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, fired a single shot from his agency-issued .40-caliber Glock semi-automatic pistol, hitting the defendant, Stephen Bryant (DOB 4/29/62), of 229 Camino Del Rio, Spanish Lakes Riverfront. He was hospitalized.

Rhodes is on administrative leave (with pay) pending a Sheriff’s Office review.

The incident began shortly after 1 a.m. when a witness saw a man jump a fence from a warehouse south of Spanish Lakes Riverfront. The witness then said he thought he heard a car start up from within Spanish Lakes Riverfront.

Deputies Brian Rhodes and Christopher Jadin were dispatched to the area. They saw a white pickup truck driven by Bryant.

The deputies tried to stop Bryant, who continued driving to 16 Galleria Way, the home of Bryant’s former girlfriend.

Bryant got out of the pickup truck waving a knife with a six-inch blade. The two deputies ordered Bryant several times to put the knife down and surrender. Instead, he continued waving the knife. At that time, Deputy Rhodes fired a single shot.

St. Lucie County fire-rescue paramedics took Bryant to St. Lucie Medical Center, Port St. Lucie. Later, he was transferred to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, Fort Pierce. He was listed this afternoon in critical condition.

Bryant is charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. He was driving with a suspended license.

Bryant has been arrested several times dating back to 2003:

- March 9, 2003, for domestic battery and child abuse.

- April 21, 2003, for two counts of battery.

- Aug. 18, 2003, for violating his probation for battery.

- March 11, 2004, for driving while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license, failing to appear in court for driving with an unassigned tag, and failing to appear in court to face a charge of driving with an expired registration.

- May 21, 2004, for violating his probation for battery.

- January 18, 2005, for battery.

Here is a web link to a locator map of the scene of the confrontation between Bryant and the deputies:


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