Plant City Police Department (PCPD) arrested Mulberry-resident Thomas Alfred Baynard, who was charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death.
An arrest has been made in a fatal hit-and-run involving a bicyclist that took place in Plant City on Fri., Sept. 15.
Plant City Police Department (PCPD) arrested Thomas Alfred Baynard, 39, of Mulberry and charged him with leaving the scene of a crash involving death, according to a news release.
“It was through the investigating officer’s diligence that we were able to locate the suspect and his vehicle in this case,” said PCPD Chief of Police James Bradford. “Our prayers for the family.”
The arrest was made in part due to traffic homicide investigators being able to obtain video surveillance of what was believed to be the suspect vehicle involved in the crash. Armed with that information coupled with debris recovered from the crash scene, officers searched for the vehicle.
Earlier this afternoon, a vehicle matching the video footage with a damage profile consistent with the crash was located in the parking lot of a local business. Baynard, the vehicle driver was located in the business. During an interview, he admitted to driving the vehicle in the area during the date and time of the crash.
The family of the victim, 60-year-old Scotty Cook, extend an enormous thank you to PCPD and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) for their diligent efforts.
“From the moment we found out that Scotty had lost his life until just earlier this evening, we have been on an emotional roller coaster,” said family spokespersons Leslie Cook and Leah Cook Crutchfield, his nieces. “Tonight our family will get to rest.”
His nieces described Scotty Cook as a great man; a son, brother, uncle, friend and more. “He was a fisherman, a jokester and could build almost anything you wanted and would give anything he had to help someone in need,” they said.
While to say he will be missed is an understatement, his nieces said his presence will be around them always, especially at his favorite fishing hole.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to help,” they said. “Your calls, texts and social media messages have been much appreciated.”
The crash investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200.