77-year-old Villager attacks deputy as wife chokes on her own vomit

Ralph James Rucinski

An intoxicated Villager was arrested after allegedly attacking a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy while his unconscious wife choked on her own vomit on the floor of a kitchen in the Village of Hacienda East.

Deputies were called at about 8:30 p.m. Monday to a home in the 1200 block of Barcelona Drive. An ambulance had also been summoned to the home.

EMS asked deputies to escort “several intoxicated bystanders out of the kitchen” so they could bring in their equipment and treat the woman, according to an arrest report.

Ralph James Rucinski, 77, of the Village of Santo Domingo, stood in the way of EMS personnel and used profanity when deputies tried to persuade him to move, the report indicated. Rucinski punched the deputy in the chest four times and continued cursing at him. As the deputy attempted to escort Rucinski from the room, the Wisconsin native kicked the deputy in the groin, shin and stomach “multiple times.”

Once Rucinski was in the patrol car and being driven to the Sumter County Detention Center, he began banging his head against bars on a window. Rucinski threatened “to tell everyone” that the deputy had caused his injuries. The deputy stopped the patrol car at a Circle K service station at Southern Trace Plaza where another deputy assisted in placing Rucinski in leg restraints.

He was arrested on third degree felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. Bond was set at $10,000.

The report did not indicate what happened to Rucinski’s wife.

Those attending the gathering in the Village of Hacienda East were not much help to law enforcement.

“I was unable to obtain any sworn written statements from any of the parties on scene due to them being heavily intoxicated,” the deputy wrote in the arrest report.