TAMPA, Fla. - A man is behind bars tonight, after state troopers say he drove into a woman walking on the road and left the scene. Quick thinking by a good Samaritan helped track the suspect down.
Dee Barber was leaving Barbers By Design on Dale Mabry early Wednesday morning, when a loud sound caught his attention. Barber said, "I heard a thumping noise, and when I looked up to the left, I saw a person. I didn't know if it was a guy or woman. I saw a person fall to the side."
Barber says a van hit a woman and didn't stop. State troopers identified her as Marisol Rivera.
Barber ran to his car and followed the mystery vehicle. Barber said, "Drove down the sidewalk and jumped over the median and was driving towards Waters. When I got to Waters, it was a red light. I looked to the right and looked to the left, and didn't see any vehicle and I just ate the red light."
More than two miles down the road, Barber caught up to the van, and tried to get the driver to pull over. Barber said, "I had to pump my brakes five times in order for him to stop. As soon as he stopped, I jumped out the vehicle and ran up to the van and told him, 'Do you know what you did? You just ran somebody over!' He kept screaming, 'What should i do?' I'm like 'give me the keys!"
State troopers arrested William Shepard Jr. In connection to the crime. FHP says while they applaud Barber's efforts, they encourage you to first tell authorities, so they can take action.
Sergeant Steve Gaskins, spokesperson for Florida Highway Patrol, said, "Tag numbers, good vehicle description, where the damage is on the vehicles and so forth. Help us get that information. Not necessarily take law enforcement action, okay, because you don't know who you're dealing with."
Rivera was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Shepard is in jail, facing a hit and run charge.
Barber said, "I just didn't want nobody to think they could get away with hurting somebody and just riding off like everything's okay."
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