Crime

He fired a crossbow at people on the street, cops say. A victim found a bolt in his body.

Deputies with the Broward Sheriff's Office arrested a man Wednesday after they said he confessed to firing a tactical crossbow at unsuspecting people in Pompano Beach.
Deputies with the Broward Sheriff's Office arrested a man Wednesday after they said he confessed to firing a tactical crossbow at unsuspecting people in Pompano Beach. Via Broward Sheriff's Office / Amazon/Ace Martial Arts Supply

Deputies on Wednesday arrested a shaggy-haired man they believe has been terrorizing people in Pompano Beach by indiscriminately firing off a high-powered crossbow at unsuspecting civilians, injuring at least one person since August 2016.

William Rodriguez, 33, was taken into custody and confessed to participating in real-life target practice, sniping at passersby from his car with a Cobra-brand tactical pistol crossbow, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office. The weapon can fire bolts at speeds of 165 feet per second, according to a listing on Amazon.

On Jan. 16, Rodriguez injured an 18-year-old man waiting at a bus stop along West Copans Road in Pompano Beach, deputies said.

The victim, Alexandre Nicholas, was looking down at his phone when he heard a swooshing sound and then noticed a six-inch bolt sticking out of his left hand. The man needed surgery at Broward Health North to remove the bolt.

While they charged Rodriguez only for the January incident, detectives used DNA evidence to link Rodriguez to at least four cases along West Copans Road and believe there may be other victims.

The arrest was made by detectives with BSO's Violent Crimes Unit with the assistance of detectives from the Violence Intervention Proactive Enforcement Response Unit.

Rodriguez, who remains in jail without bond, was charged with premeditated attempted murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Additional charges may be added.


The Broward Sheriff's Office said he has prior arrests for driving with a suspended license, cannabis possession, burglary, criminal mischief and violation of probation.


Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Larry Heath at 954-321-4719. Reports can be made anonymously to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org.
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