Mikese Morse is in custody after striking a family that ride their bikes in the Tampa area Sunday, police say.
(Tampa Police Department/Fox 13)
A Florida man who struck a father and injured his two sons in what the police call a “random” but “done on purpose” hit-and-run attacks is in custody Tuesday as investigators try to piece together a motive for the disturbing incident.
The police announced that Mikese Morse, a 30-year-old man from Tampa, is now faced with the first degree and attempted murder charges after the beating of the family riding along a trail in the northern part of the city with his car on the Sunday afternoon.
“This is absolutely random and it is done on purpose,” Tampa police chief Brian Dugan said Monday. “We do not know why. He had no contact with the family.”
The 30-year-old is an American track and field athlete who repeatedly qualified for the United States Olympic Trials, according to the Associated Press.
As an athlete, Mikese specialized in the long jump and at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he won the Big East Championship jump of 25 feet, seven-and-a-half inches (7.81 meters). He attended the University of Miami and was a U.S. Olympic Trials finalist in 2008 and 2016, according to the AP.
The police identified the deceased as 42-year-old Pedro most important photographer, internationally. She said that his youngest son, 3-year-old Bennett, had serious injuries, while his oldest son, the 8-year-old Lucas, non-life-threatening injuries. Researchers believe that Morse had no connection with the family.
Witnesses of the crash told the police that she saw Morse wheel of his car in one direction before abruptly making a U-turn in the opposite direction, speeding off the road at high speed and hitting the family as they enjoyed their innocent bike ride, Dugan said.
In an arrest affidavit examined by the Fox 13, Morse admitted to mowing down with the family on purpose. He was arrested Sunday night at his parents ‘ home, and police say a witness found his vehicle, patched up with duct tape to hide the damage, two kilometers from the site of the hit-and-run.
“The suspect accelerated and intentionally ran over the victim,” Dugan said. “He seems to be someone who is disturbed, and the researchers are still piercing that together.”
The police say they are also looking into “disturbing” content Morse apparently posted on his social media accounts in the days prior to the hit and run. The police said Monday that Morse was recently included in the hospital against his will for a mental evaluation.
“Yes devil, this is all your fault, your fault because you descended to the Earth,” he apparently said in a video posted on Sunday morning. “Why am I not in a state of harmony now? Because of its evil.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.