The Tampa police chief said in an early morning news conference that a “disturbed” man made a U-turn and deliberately drove into a family riding their bicycles in New Tampa on Sunday, killing the father and injuring his two young sons.
“This is definitely random and it was purposefully done and we don’t know why,” said chief Brian Dugan. “It was very clear that he ran these people down.”
Around noon on Sunday, Pedro Aguerreberry, 42, was riding a bicycle on the sidewalk and pulling his son, Bennett, 3, in a bike trailer while his other son, Lucas, 8, rode his bike alongside them on New Tampa Boulevard and Wood Sage Drive.
Investigators explained how Mikese M. Morse, 30, was driving a 2008, red, 4-door Dodge westbound on New Tampa Boulevard and saw the family. Witnesses say Morse did a U-turn and intentionally drove his car off the road, then onto a grass easement and then onto the sidewalk where he accelerated and hit the family. Morse then allegedly drove away without stopping to help the victims.
Pedro Aguerreberry and his sons were transported to local hospitals. He died from his injuries. Bennet Aguerreberry suffered a leg fracture and Lucas Aguerreberry suffered minor injuries.
Dugan said the two boys saw their father die at the scene and their mother is facing an enormous loss. “Instantly her life has changed. She is going to have to pick up the pieces,” he said.
TPD officers spotted Morse’s car a few blocks away from his parent’s home in New Tampa. The car had plastic taped to the front windshield to conceal the damage, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police found Morse at his parents’ home. He was taken into custody. Police say he admitted to committing the attack against the family.
Dugan said Morse did not explain why he did it. The chief said Morse “appears to be disturbed.”
Morse is charged with premeditated murder in the first degree, leaving the scene of a crash with death, leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury, and two counts of attempted murder, records show.
Detectives are trying to figure out a motive.
As for any previous run-ins with the law, Chief Dugan said Morse was Baker Acted after he walked into a district office on June 12 and exhibited odd behavior. He also has previous citations for traffic violations.
Morse is being held without bond at the Hillsborough County Jail.