2010 - Present Tributes For Police And Military K9
Some of these tributes
are for police canine officers that were killed in the line of duty and
some for officers that died while off duty. Also included are military
canine handlers that were killed during wars.
star on both sides of officer name indicates both
officer and K9 were killed in line of duty
October 30, 2013 -
- Age 29
Casey Kohlmeier, 29, and his dog, Draco, were in a vehicle
accident on 10/30/13. The accident was
reported to state police at 9:38 p.m.
Officer Kohlmeier's marked stationary patrol car was hit
by another vehicle on Interstate 55 just north of Illinois 23 in
Livingston County. Kohlmeier was in a median turnaround when his car was
struck by a northbound vehicle. The pickup
truck, driven by Jason C. Collins, 33, still was connected to the
passenger side of Officer Kohlmeier’s SUV. State troopers arrived to
find Kohlmeier, who was unconscious, being tended by officers from
Pontiac police and the Livingston County Pro-Active Unit. Officer Kohlmeier was rushed to OSF St.
James John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac where he died at 10:46
p.m. Jason C. Collins was
transferred to OSF
Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria
and hospitalized. Officer Kohlmeier canine
Draco, who was his partner for five
years, died at the scene. It was raining at the time of the crash. Collins
told police he had been drinking at a Bloomington bar before the crash,
and video surveillance footage from the bar showed Collins was there for
five hours. His blood alcohol level exceeded the legal driving limit of
0.08 percent. The defendant claimed he fell asleep while driving and
awoke just before the crash occurred.
Officer Kohlmeier was a 6
year veteran with Pontiac police department.
He served in the U.S. Air
Force from 2002-2006 at Offut Air Force Base in Omaha, NE. While in the
service, he was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force
Training Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force BMT Honor
Graduate Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon with device, NCO
Professional Military Education Ribbon, Air Force Good Conduct Medal,
Meritorious Unit Award, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
He was Airman of the Year 2005. Kohlmeier was part of the Livingston County Pro-Active
Unit, which is made up of several area police departments, and hoped to
join the FBI. He had
just received his pilot’s license this past year.
He was a Board Member of the
Boys & Girls Club of Livingston County and Illinois Police Benevolent
and Protective Association. Thousands attended his service along
with dozens of canine officers with their K9's. Songs played
at his service were
Eric Clapton’s “Tears in
Heaven” and John Lennon’s “Imagine”.
Kohlmeier was not married and had no children. Donations
may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Livingston County or K9 Fund
through the Pontiac Police Department.
Collins, 33, of West Columbia, South Carolina, was arrested by Illinois
State Police, who were investigating the crash, after he was discharged
from the hospital on 11/31/13. On 11/1/13, Collins,
had bond set at $1 million by Livingston County Circuit Judge Jennifer
Bauknecht. Collins was seen in a video arraignment from the Livingston
County Jail, where he is being held. He is charged with two
counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, each Class
2 felonies, punishable by three-to-14 years in prison on the
aggravated DUI charge, the most serious of the charges with a limited
opportunity for probation; one count of reckless homicide, a Class 3
felony, punishable by probation or a sentence of two-to-five years in
prison; and two counts of driving under the influence, each Class A
would be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence if he is convicted
of any of the felony counts.
Collins has a prior aggravated DUI in New Jersey in 2008, when he was
driving under the influence and struck a pedestrian, causing severe
bodily injury. He also has other charges on his record, including
illegal transportation of alcohol and driving while his license was
suspended. The State asked for bond to be set at $200,000 – ten percent
of which would have to be paid for bail. Bauknecht took that under
consideration, but chose to raise the bond to $1 million, which $100,000
would have to be posted for him to leave custody of the jail. She
considered him a flight risk and added that, with the severity of the
charges, the bond needed to be set higher.
Livingston County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bauknecht heard his initial court appearance, but Collins has filed a
preliminary motion for a reassignment of the judge.
On Nov. 25
Jason Collins pleaded not guilty.
A Dec. 24 pretrial
hearing and Jan. 26 jury trial are scheduled. Collins remains jailed in
lieu of posting $100,000.
Christopher L. Blackburn
October 12, 2013 - Bridgeton,
- Age 38
L. Blackburn, 38, was traveling westbound on Centerton Road
near Deerfield Road around 12:43 a.m. when for an unknown
reason, lost control of the 2006 Ford Explorer he was
driving, left the roadway and struck a utility pole.
Blackburn was off duty and alone in the vehicle at the time
of the crash. He was a 12-year decorated veteran of the
Bridgeton Police Department. Blackburn was involved in a
raid on a
South Avenue house, that police had been
investigating for suspected drug activity for a month. Three
people were arrested without incident and police seized
marijuana after executing a search warrant
just a few hours
before he was killed in his accident.
Blackburn was decorated many times during his
career. His honors included one Life Saving Medal, on K9
Medal, the Educational Achievement Medal, one Exceptional
Duty Medal, three Unit Citation Medals, three Honorable
Service Medals, the Firearm and Narcotic Enforcement Medals,
and three Meritorious Service Medals. He also was also
president of Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 94A
Superior Officers Association.
He mourned the death of
his K-9 partner Argos, who died this past March while in the
line of duty. He is survived by his fiance, longtime
partner, Chasta Collins Kott and his son Chris Jr.,13
years old. Chris
was predeceased by an infant son, Chase, in 2007. He is also
survived by his step-children, Vanessa Kott , Brooke,
Britney and Tyler Kott. Memorial contributions may be made
to the Christopher Blackburn Education Fund, c/o Colonial
Bank, Att.: Tonya Spindler, 85 W. Broad St., Bridgeton, NJ
Cst. Louis Beglaw
September 16, 2013 - West Vancouver,
- Age 50
Cst. Louis Beglaw, 50,
died after he was found in cardiac arrest at the
department's headquarters on 9/16/13 while on duty.
Cst. Beglaw joined the West Vancouver Police Department in
2003 after a military career that
culminated with service as the deputy commanding officer of
the Royal Westminster Regiment of the Canadian Army Reserve. Before that he worked with Canada Border
Service. Cst. Beglaw was a very
dedicated officer who went through very extensive training to
became a police service dog handler in 2007.
survived by his wife Sarah, their young son and daughter and his service dog
Officer Paul V.
August 30, 2013 - Monroeville,
- Age 45
Officer Paul V. Bodnar, 45, died on 8/30/13 from
complications of Parkinson’s disease. He served with the Monroeville
Police Department for nineteen years. Officer Bodnar had spent seven
years on the police force with his K9 partner "Czak". Bodnar worked as a
trainer with the Pennsylvania Police Work Dog Association. Paul and
K9 Czak were members of the North American Police Work Dog Association.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa Marie (Lisovich) Bodnar; two sons,
Regis, 26, Matthew, 22, two daughters; Samantha, 18, and Sarah Bodnar,
17. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation
for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New
York, NY 10163-4777. Officer Don Darby
August 13, 2013 - Glendale Heights,
- Age 38Canine Officer Don Darby, 38, died on 8/13/13 from
stage four glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive
type of brain cancer which was diagnosed a year earlier. His
police K9 "Lucky" spent many days by his bedside at the hospital
giving him comfort with his family. Officer Darby was with the
Glendale Heights police force for fourteen years. Officer Darby is
survived by his wife Amy, two sons, Caden 8 and Andrew 5 and his K9 partner "Lucky".
Donations can be made through "Friends for Don Darby" C/O FBI 4343
Commerce Court, Lisle 60532.
May 25, 2013 - Nelson County,
- Age 33
Officer Jason Ellis, 33, was shot and
killed on 5/25/13 on the 34 exit ramp of the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson
County, Kentucky. Ellis was in uniform and headed home from work in
“pool car” that was marked but not his assigned vehicle and not equipped
to capture video or audio. Two vehicles had
stopped behind him and sat there a few minutes and saw no action, the
curiosity got them, they got out to see what was going on and that's
when they found Officer Ellis on the side of the road. The first sign of
trouble came when a woman’s voice began frantically calling for help on
the officer’s police radio at 2:53 a.m.
that an officer and had been fatally struck
by a vehicle. “Officer down! Officer down!
Emergency!,” the woman’s voice crackled across the radio as she told
dispatchers she found the officer outside the car on the side of the
exit ramp car at the BG parkway Bloomfield exit. The woman’s voice was
followed by that of a man, who told dispatchers he was on his way home
from work and drove up to find the police cruiser in the middle of the
road with its emergency lights on and the officer was outside the
cruiser and was not breathing the man told dispatchers. When Trooper
Mike Garyantes arrived on the scene at approximately 3:16 a.m., and
minutes after the Trooper's arrival, he discovered that it was not a
motor vehicle crash and that the officer involved had been shot
multiple times with a 12-gauge shotgun and killed outside
his cruiser with its lights on and 12 gauge shotgun shell casings in the road. His
service weapon was still in its holster, suggesting Ellis was ambushed.
did not call dispatch center that he was out on a violator, a subject or
assisting anyone on the ramp. At the time of the incident, Officer Ellis
did not have his dog Figo with him.
Police have said it was a premeditated ambush and
involved a high level of planning and calculation. Investigators believe
that the debris was planted on the road to be used as bait for the
ambush. The killer most likely left the debris on the road and then hid
somewhere nearby to wait for someone to pick it up. It is still unknown
whether the killer intended to shoot and kill the Kentucky officer,
Jason Ellis, or simply the first person who was attracted by the debris
on the road. Exit 34 ramp was a daily route for Ellis. Police believe
that the location was "obviously not picked randomly." The killer is
still at large and a reward
of $6,000 was announced on
5/27/13 for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect,
raised to $10,000 on 5/28/13, increased to $10,000. on 5/29/13 to $43,000
on 5/30/13 to $103,000, on 6/3/13 to $125,000 and on 6/5/13 to $150,000
and in August of 2013 raised to $185,000 making it the largest reward for information
leading to an arrest of the killer of a canine officer.
Ellis was a star baseball player at
Cumberland College where he holds the records for
hits, batting average, doubles, home
runs, runs batted in and games played
and went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds farm system after
was a seven-year veteran of the Bardstown Police Department, and the
only K-9 officer. Officer Ellis is the first officer tragedy for the
Bardstown Police Department. During
his time as a police officer he had numerous awards and commendations
including Bardstown Police Officer of the Year in 2008 and also the
Governor's Award for Impaired Driving Enforcement for 2007 and 2008.
He is survived by his wife, Amy Phillips Ellis; two sons, Hunter Ellis,
and Parker Ellis, 6.
Fido will be
retiring from police work and will live with Ellis’ wife and children.
Officer Ellis's canine, Figo, attended the funeral service along with approximately two thousand people
approximately twenty canine teams. Donations can be made to
or donate to either the officer's family or the reward fund set up
through the family and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 43: Make
checks payable to Officer Jason Ellis Memorial Fund or the Officer Jason
Ellis Reward Fund. Specify which fund. Checks can be sent
in each fund's name to Chief Rick McCubbin, Bardstown Police Department,
212 Nelson County Plaza, Bardstown, Ky., 40004. Donations also can be
made at any Muir Bank branch in Bardstown.
David M. Sonka
May 4, 2013 - Farah Province, Afghanistan- Age
Marine, Cpl. David Sonka, 23, and his military K9 Flex, who was trying to
save him were killed on 5/4/13 during a combat operation in
Afghanistan's Farah province. Cpl. David Sonka and his dog, Flex, were
killed during an insider attack. They were
working with a unit that was training an Afghan National Army soldier
when the Afghani man turned his weapon on the Marines.
They were killed while waiting for a high-ranking U.S. officer to emerge
from a meeting at an Afghan National Army base. A team of six Marines
were escorting the high-ranking officer and two intelligence officers to
a meeting at the Afghan Army base. Cpl. Sonka was from Parker,
Colorado. Also Staff Sgt. Eric
Christian, 39, of Warwick, N.Y., also was killed in the incident. The
two Marines were assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion,
Camp Lejeune, N.C. Sonka born in Aurora. He joined the Marines in August
of 2008 and graduated recruit training in November 2008. During his
service Sonka received numerous personal decorations, including a Navy
and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and
a Combat Action Ribbon. Sonak attended military police school, and, once
finished, began courses to become a Military Working Dog handler.
Assigned to the III Marine Expeditionary Force K9 Section of the Marine
Corps Air Ground Combat Center in California from July 2009 to March
2012, Sonka was then deployed for Operation Enduring Freedom. Sonka was
then assigned to Marine Special Operations Combat Support Battalion,
Marine Special Operations Support Group at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he
completed Special Operations Training Course, and Multi-Purpose Canine
Course Phase I and Phase II. From there, Sonka attached to 2nd Marine
Special Operations Battalion as a Multi-Purpose Canine Handler.
Sonka was serving his second deployment and had just arrived in
Afghanistan a few weeks prior to being killed.
He is survived by his wife Torey. Cpl
Sonka was buried on 5/16/13 at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver
Colorado. Memorial donations suggested to Wounded Warrior Project or
Feed the Dawgs Project, P.O. Box 533, Mentone, CA 92359-0533.
Officer Sergeant Gilbert Cortez
March 25, 2013 - Warner Springs,
California - Age
Correctional Officer Sgt. Gilbert Cortez, 46, and his service dog,
Mattie, were killed in a single car accident on 3/25/13 at 7:20 a.m.
while on duty. K9 Mattie succumbed to her injuries at the scene of the
crash. There were no other occupants of the vehicle when the crash
occurred. Officer Cortez was leading a small caravan of five vehicles
with a marked Ford Crown Victoria on State Route 79, east of Lake
Henshaw, a half-mile south of San Felipe Road in the Warner Springs
area. They were en route to inspect La Cima Fire Camp, an inmate-staffed
back-country firefighting outpost in the Julian area
where they were scheduled to search inmates for drugs and other
His fellow officers who were following behind his vehicle said
Cortez’s vehicle drifted to the right and
he overcorrected and skidded
out, overturned and rolled over side-to-side, coming to rest on its
crossing the highway into a rock
officers who were following ran to the car and extricated him and
performed CPR. Medics
took Cortez to a nearby fire station, where he died before he could be
put into an emergency services helicopter for a flight to a trauma
center. Cortez, a 23-year veteran of the state corrections agency,
worked at California Rehabilitation Center in Riverside County and was
part of its Southern Regional K-9 Unit.
He started his career in 1990 at the
California Institution for Men in Chino. A year later, he transferred to
Calipatria State Prison and was assigned to the Investigative Services
Unit. In 2001, he was transferred to the Norco prison to complete K-9
training. Mattie was a Belgian Malinois, donated by a private citizen in
the San Diego area and was certified to search for contraband and
partnered with Cortez since August 2011. His funeral was attended
by hundreds on April 9, 2013. He is survived by his
wife Nohema and two children, Andy and Marisa.
February 28, 2013 -Belmopan,
Belize - Age
Gabourel died in a vehicle accident on 2/28/13 shortly after midnight
just outside Punta Gorda on the main highway passing through Hopeville
and Cattle Landing. The Police Canine Unit vehicle of Belmopan was
heading in the direction out Punta Gorda. He was the only occupant and
driver of the vehicle when it ran off the road and crashed into the
concrete front section of the Southern Realty and Art gallery building.
The police vehicle was extensively damaged while the badly injured
police constable was found outside the vehicle on the building’s front
floor concrete section which was also damaged by the impact of the
vehicle leaving one of the entire front wheel torn off the vehicle and
was left lodged against the building’s damaged metal design front door.
Civilians who were at the scene of the accident shortly after rendered
assistance and rushed seriously injured police constable to the Punta Gorda hospital where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after. Police
Constable Gabourel was part of a team of four who were in Punta Gorda
from the Canine Unit in Belmopan who along with two canine dogs were
scheduled for a Career Day presentation that day at JC Technical High
February 25, 2013 - Lincoln,
- Age 43
Officer John Clarke, 43, died on 2/25/13 while off duty. Officer Clarke
finished working out on a machine at Snap Fitness, 5900 S. 85th St.,
around 11 a.m., sat down and fell over. A physical therapist rushed to
give him CPR. Rescue workers took him to Saint Elizabeth Regional
Medical Center where doctors pronounced him dead. Having joined the
department in 1991, During his career, he served on the SWAT
team, as a firearms instructor and head canine trainer. Clarke’s police dog, Beersie-Remo, will
stay with another handler until the dog retires later this year,
something that was scheduled before Clarke’s death. Clarke was a 21-year
veteran and was was,
serving as the handler for over 15 years and statewide certification
trainer. Officer Clarke was a former lineman for the Husker football
team. Clarke leaves behind his wife,
Lisa, and their three children, daughters Chasye, Hope and son Colton.
Memorials to Capitol City
Christian Church, Special Olympics, and Clarke Children Education Fund,
c/o Wells Fargo Bank.
Officer Kevin A. Tonn
January 15, 2013 - Galt, California
- Age 35
Officer Kevin Tonn, 35, was shot
and killed on 1/15/13 while responding to a possible burglary in progress on the
200 block of F Street in Galt around 11:18 a.m. Officers
arrived on the scene at 11:25 a.m. and found that the door of a duplex
had been kicked in.
While officers were
interviewing neighbors, one of the witnesses pointed down the road to
some train tracks, roughly a block away, which they thought may have
been the burglary
suspect shortly after 11:30 a.m. Tonn
parked his patrol car along the tracks, left his canine partner, Yaro,
a German shepherd,
inside and tried to contact the man.
Tonn attempted to approach the man, but the man became
aggressive and an altercation between Tonn and the suspect ensued and he
called for emergency back up at 11:34
a.m. At some point during the struggle, the
suspect pulled out a hand gun and shot Tonn once in the head and fired several shots
at the second officer who responded to the burglary call. Two
minutes later a second officer reported shots fired and an "officer
officer, who was not hurt, was not able to return fire because of the
position in which he had taken cover. Tonn also did not fire any shots.
The first officer, Tonn, was transported
to Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.The shooter
also died from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was
later identified as
Humphrey Kenneth Gascon Jr.,
30, of Galt. As it
turned out in the investigation, Gascon, the person who shot Officer Tonn had
nothing to do with the burglary and was later found out that the person
that did the burglary was actually a family member of the one that
reported the burglary. Before joining the Galt Police
Department in September 2009, Tonn previously worked in New York
as a firefighter and paramedic
and then a fire inspector.
Prior to that, he served in the military as a police officer in the U.S. Army.
His canine partner Yaro was not injured in the
incident. Officer Tonn had
been with the department 3 1/2 years. He was not married and didn’t
have children. It is the first line-of-duty death for the Galt Police
Department. Thousands attended Officer Tonn's funeral including his K9
partner Yaro along with approximately a dozen other police K9 officers
with their canines. Officer Tonn received full military honors and also
a five helicopter fly over at the service. A K9 trust fund has been set up in Tonn’s name at Premier West
Bank, 9340 East Stockton Blvd., Elk Grove, CA 95624. The account number
Humphrey Kenneth Gascon Jr.
had only minor traffic
infractions, but no felony arrests. Gascon could have been arrested for
carrying a loaded firearm in public.Gascon had been arrested for driving
under the influence in Nevada but had no history of violent crime.
Robert Wiley Seymore
December 3, 2012 - Holly Springs, North Carolina
- Age 38
Seymore 38, fatally shot his wife Amber Seymore, 38, in the head on
12/3/12 at approximately 9:00 a.m. and then turned the weapon on himself commiting suicide.
Robert Seymore was a former
Bay Area Rapid Transit police canine officer in California for 10 years.
confronted her husband about his cheating. Amber
Seymore’s mother found the bodies of her
daughter and son-in-law in their bedroom lying on the floor and ran
outside calling 911 and flagging down a motorist driving by who was Matt
Taylor heading to work.
Amber Seymore's mother pleaded
Matt Taylor to go inside the home because her son-in-law, Robert Seymore,
was not supposed to be there. She told him I think he shot her. So then
he said who shot her? Where is he? Is he still in there? Does he still
have a gun?" Not knowing what he would see, he went inside the
couple's home where he first found their two year old toddler as he was
going up the stairs, she was coming out of the kitchen. As he made his
way upstairs, he found the tragic murder suicide scene.
At the time they were in the process of getting a divorce. The
day after Thanksgiving, Mrs Amber Seymore called police to file a domestic
violence complaint. She notified police that she had found out that her
husband was cheating on her and that she planned to confront him about
it, but feared for her safety. She said her husband and two of her
children would soon be returning home. And she would be kicking him out
of the house when he gets there. She asked for a police officer to park
in the street outside the house for his return, as he did not know she
had found out about the affair. She also told police there were a lot of
guns in the house. Police sent an officer to the area, but did not hear
from Mrs Seymore again that day. The Seymore's had moved from California
to North Carolina and had been living in North Carina for eighteen
months. Robert had served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Robert and Amber
Seymore had three young children,
Robert Seymore, Alexandra Seymore,
and Abigail Seymore.
older children, ages 6 and 8, were in elementary school at the time of
the shooting. Memorial
contributions may be made to Seymore Children's Fund, c/o Hope Community
Church, 821 Buck Jones Rd. Raleigh, NC 27606.
Officer Vidhur Jadoo
November 7, 2012 - Howick, South Africa
- Age 30
Vidhur Jadoo, 30, died on 11/7/12 after being shot in the
head and leg and died on the way to the hospital after responding to a
robbery in progress at approximately 2:00 a.m. at Midmar Dam, South Africa. Officer Livingston
Mpangase, 44, another K9 officer who was also with him was shot in the
face and is critical condition after the two K9 officers were ambushed.
The pair received a complaint of armed robbery at a diesel outlet in
Midmar Dam. On arrival they spoke to the victim, a security guard, who
informed them that two unknown men produced assault rifles and robbed
him of his cell phone, wallet, his torch and diesel. The security guard
also said that they fired a shot and then fled in a vehicle. The two K9
Unit policemen had taken a statement from the victim and left the dam in
the direction the security guard had told them, when they noticed the
suspicious behavior of five occupants in a vehicle. The members then
tried to get the car to pull over but they sped off. Jadoo and his
partner followed the suspects through the streets of Howick, until the
suspects eventually stopped their car in the middle of Midmar Road and
lay in wait with the car shut off and lights out, armed with 9mm assault
rifles, until the policemen caught up with them. When the police car
approached the suspect’s car, they opened fire on the officers, wounding
them both. Mpangase, who was the driver, had no time to reverse but
managed to return fire. However, after firing one round, his gun jammed.
Several spent AK-47, R5 and 9mm cartridges were found on the scene. The
suspect’s vehicle was found abandoned in the area and was searched. A
Taurus Brazil revolver, a sealed packet with four electronic detonators,
and ten commercial explosives and a hammer were found inside the car
which are generally used in ATM bombings, Officer Vidhur Jadoo, was
stationed at the Mountain Rise K9 unit and joined the police force nine
years ago and was with the dog unit for five years. Officer Vidhur Jadoo
was given full military honors at his funeral 11/8/12. Officer Jadoo
leaves behind his wife of three years, Ashreena Jadoo.
Officer Bradley M. Fox
September 13, 2012 - Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania
- Age 34Officer Brad Fox, 34, a
Plymouth Township police officer,was shot in the head and killed at approximately
6:00 p.m. on 9/13/12 following a traffic stop. At approximately 5:16
p.m., officers from the Plymouth Township Police Department were
investigating a three-car accident at 1215 East Ridge Pike in the
Conshohocken section of Plymouth Township. At 5:42 p.m., while
conducting traffic control at the accident scene, officers observed
a silver, 2006 Infiniti SUV, traveling at a high rate of speed,
passing stopped traffic in the opposing lane of traffic. Officer
Bradley Fox and backup began to follow the Infiniti SUV from Ridge
Pike onto southbound Conshohocken Road. While traveling on
Conshohocken Road, the Infiniti struck a white Chrysler 300 Sedan
and fled the scene. Upon arrival at the location of the hit and run,
officers were informed by another motorist that the striking vehicle
drove onto Ernest Station Road. Officer Fox followed the path of the
striking vehicle and found it abandoned on Ernest Station Road.
Within minutes, Officer Fox and his K-9 partner Nick began a foot
pursuit and radioed for backup. Officer Fox and his K9 partner
pursued the suspect into an industrial area alongside the Schuylkill
River Trail.Responding officers located Officer Fox on the
grass between the Schuylkill River trail and the train tracks above
the trail. It was apparent he had suffered a gunshot wound to the
head and they called for emergency medical backup. Officer Fox was
taken to Montgomery Hospital where he died and was only about six
hours away from celebrating his 35th birthday. Officer Fox’s K-9
partner Nick, Belgian Malinois, suffered a graze bullet wound and
received veterinary care. Both were shot with a 9mm Beretta gunOfficers responded from multiple jurisdictions and
immediately began to establish a perimeter to secure the area and
locate Officer Fox’s killer. With assistance of multiple police
agencies and canine search teams, the killer was located. He had
sustained two gunshot wounds to the chest and was deceased.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the killer, Andrew Charles
Thomas, age 44, abandoned the stolen car he was driving, fled from
the officer and was hiding on the hill above the train tracks
obscured by tall weeds. Crime scene evidence indicated he ambushed
Officer Fox by firing at least four shots at the officer and his K-9
partner from an elevated vantage point where Officer Fox could not
view him.Fox became a K9 officer in 2012 and recently
graduated from the Philadelphia K-9 Unit in March of 2012
andwas a seven year veteran of the department.
Officer Brad Fox had previously served as
a U.S. Marine
SSgt. for ten years and completed two tours,
2003 in Iraq and 2005-2006 in Fallujah. He was awarded the Navy and
Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy
Presidential Unit Citation, Selected Marine Corp Reserve (X3) Medal,
National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon
and The Armed Forces Reserve Medal. Officer Fox is the first Plymouth officer killed in the line
of duty.Thousands attended his funeral
along with his K9 partner "Nick". Officer Fox was buried in
his uniform and received full military honors.His K-9 partner Nick was retired on
11/12/12 and given to the Fox family. Fox is
survived by his wife, Lynsay, 28, who is three months pregnant with
a second child and a five month old daughter Kadence. Lynsay gave birth to Brad Fox Jr. on March
25, 2013. Donations can be sent to: Fox
Children's Fund: C/O of the Children's Fund, Continental Bank, 661
W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19642.
Dr. Erica Williams conducted an
autopsy of Officer Fox’s body. She found he suffered a single gunshot
wound to the head; the manner of his death was homicide.Dr.
Erica Williams conducted an autopsy on Thomas’ body. She identified one
direct contact wound to his chest and a second close contact wound to
his chest. Dr. Erica Williams determined the cause of Thomas’ death was
gunshot wounds to the chest; the manner of death was suicide. At the
time of the incident, Thomas was on probation in Montgomery County after
pleading guilty to a forgery charge on 5/22/2012. The forgery charge
resulted from a 2005 incident in Upper Merion when he used $140.00 worth
of counterfeit Acme gift certificates. After failing to appear for his
original arraignment in 2005, the defendant had been a fugitive for
seven years. Lower Merion Police successfully apprehended him on May 21,
2012 and he pleaded guilty the next day.
Thomas is reported to have used up to 40 different aliases and social
security numbers during his life and was the prime suspect in the
disappearance of Maria C. Procopio of South Philadelphia. Procopio, 34,
went missing in September of 1999 after leaving her shift at QVC in West
Chester, Pa. Her body has never been found.
J. Henry, 30, pleaded guilty on 3/12/13 of supplying the gun that was
used in Fox’s slaying. Henry
pleaded guilty to all 23 charges involving the illegal sale or transfer
of firearms and lying on gun purchase applications that the guns he was
buying were for himself and not anyone else. Montgomery County Judge
Joseph A. Smyth, accepted the plea. Henry allegedly purchased nine guns
between April 2012 and July 2012 for Andrew Charles Thomas, including
the Beretta 9 mm pistol that Thomas used to gun down Fox. Thomas would
tell Henry what type of gun he wanted, give him cash to pay for the gun
and, after the transaction was completed, give Henry $500 in cash for
making the purchase. Thomas was barred by law from purchasing the
guns himself because he's a convicted felon. Henry was arrested on
charges of the illegal sale or transfer of firearms and lying on
gun-purchase applications that the guns he purchased were for himself
and not anyone else. Henry, who has been held in the county prison in
lieu of $1 million cash bail since his arrest Oct. 10, 2012. Henry told
the judge he has been treated at various mental health facilities for
anxiety and depression. Police are calling on the public to aid
investigators in trying to track down the remaining eight guns,
including two rifles that Henry allegedly purchased for Thomas. The
firearms that have not been recovered include: Colt .45 ACP, Colt .45
ACP Defender, Colt Mustang .380 ACP 7¾-inch Barrel, Beretta 92FS 9 mm
pistol, Beretta 92FS INOX 9 mm pistol, Fabrique Nationale 57 5.7X28
pistol, Remington 750 30-06 rifle and a Stevens 200 Rifle 300
Winchester. On 8/15/13
Montgomery County Judge
Joseph A. Smyth sentenced Michael J. Henry to 20 to 66 years behind bars
for serving as the straw purchaser of the Beretta 9 mm pistol that was
used in the slaying.
Officer Charles Nelson Armetta
September 8, 2012 - Baltimore City, Maryland
- Age 29Officer Charles
Nelson Armetta, 29, of Joppa, was an officer for Aberdeen Police
Department. He died while off duty when he fell off a raised portion of
the interstate in Baltimore City. MDTA police received a call at 3:15
a.m. on 9/8/12 from someone that reported a person had fallen from
northbound I-95 near exit 52 for Russell Street. Police arrived on scene
at 3:17 a.m. and found Mr. Armetta in
a wooded area beneath the highway. He had fallen approximately 47 feet.
Mr. Armetta was with eight or nine friends and family members in a
limousine-type bus and the bus had pulled over on I-95 near the off
ramp. Mr. Armetta was pronounced dead on the scene by Baltimore medics
at 3:42 a.m.
The party bus was returning from a
trip to Washington, D.C. Mr. Armetta was assigned to the departments recently reinstated police
dog unit. His K9 partner Maverick, a 2-year-old German shepherd was
recently shipped from Europe to Castle K-9 in Pennsylvania and had been
training with the New Castle County Delaware Police Department. The two
just graduated a 12 week program on July 12, 2012. He had been with the
department since 2007.Approximately a dozen K9 handlers with
their canines attended his funeral. He is survived by his wife,
Heather Lauren Armettaand a
daughter, Adrianna Caprice Armetta who was turning one-year-old in two more days.
Donations can be made to the Charles Armetta
Memorial, C/O Harco Federal
1028 Middleton Rd, Aberdeen, MD 21001.
MA2 Michael John Brodsky
July 21, 2012 -
- Age 33
Master of Arms 2nd Class Michael J. Brodsky, 33, from Florida, died 7/21/12 from wounds he received
7/7/12 in a blast from a “dismounted
improvised explosive device in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. He had lost both legs and was struggling to
stay alive. Brodsky was flown to Landsthul, Germany where his mother and
father were able to see him before he died. Brodsky, a U.S. Navy
Military Dog Handler, was doing a tour of duty in the Kandahar Province
of Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Brodsky was on
patrol in an undisclosed area when his unit came under fire on July 7.
Brodsky reportedly rushed to a nearby truck to shelter his K9 partner,
Jackson. As he returned to the fire fight, Brodsky stepped on a mine.
Brodsky trained bomb-sniffing dogs for the Navy and had recently
re-enlisted with the military branch for another six years. Brodsky had
been assigned to the San Diego-based Navy Region Southwest Security
Detachment since December 2010. He enlisted in 2001, the day after the
World Trade Center was attacked, and served overseas
in Sasebo, Japan and Bahrain. Brodsky
was awarded the Purple Heart for his bravery on July 16th.
Michael is survived by his daughter Natalia.
Cpl. Joshue R. Ashley
July 19, 2012 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 23
Cpl. Joshua R. Ashley,
24, of Rancho Cucamonga, California, was killed in Afghanistan on 7/19/12 by an IED during a night operation in Helmand Province. He was a Military
Police officer with the II Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Law
Enforcement Battalion, and was a dog handler for special operations.
Ashley was with his military dog Sirius, a 4-year-old male German
Shepherd when he was killed. Sirius survived the incident. Ashley
enlisted in the Marines in 2008 after graduating from Etiwanda High
School in 2007. Ashley was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, from 2009 to
2011, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina from 2011 to
when he was deployed to Afghanistan in May of 2012.
His awards include the Navy Achievement Medal, Navy
Commendation ribbon, Meritorious Unit Commendation ribbon, Good
Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal,
and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
PC Steve Nigel Abbott
June 15, 2012 - Kimberley,
- Age 62
62, died on Friday 15 June, at his Kimberley home, after a
heart attack. He had served the Nottinghamshire Force for 40
years. He was commended a number of times and his experience
as a dog handler and trainer was invaluable. He service was
with full police honors and cremated. He is survived by his wife Mary.
Sgt. Robert Warren Crapse Sr.
June 15, 2012 - Bryan County, Georgia - Age 32
Sheriff's Deputy, Robert Crapse, 32, was killed at
2:15 a.m. on 6/15/12 in the northbound lanes of I-95 when a driver going
the wrong way on Interstate 95 struck his cruiser head on. Sheriff's
Deputy, Robert Crapse, who resided in Ellabell, had been working traffic
control and was headed back to the north end of the county when the
accident occurred and was not wearing his seat belt. The crash happened near mile marker 97 which is
between the I-16 and Highway 204 exits. Crapse had his K9 “Seppe”, a
Belgian Malinois, with him at the time of the accident and his K9
survived with just a scraps and bruises. The driver of the other car ,
23-year-old Patricia Ann Collins, of
Richmond Hill was driving a white Toyota
Corolla car . Crapse died at the
scene. Collins, who was wearing a seat belt was airlifted to Memorial University Medical Center with
life threatening injuries. Chatham Metro
Police dispatch had actually received seven calls of a vehicle traveling the
wrong way down the interstate just before the call
came in about the deadly crash. Police put out a BOLLO in Chatham
County, but that Crapse would not have heard it. Law Enforcement in
Bryan County has access to Chatham dispatch, but would have to manual
switch the radio to hear it. A second Bryan County Deputy pulled Deputy
Crapse from his vehicle after the accident. He had been following him
home after their shift. Crapse started his law enforcement career
working at a detention center in 1999, when he was about 19 years old
and then became a deputy in 2006. Crapse
was promoted from Cpl. to Sgt. about two hours after his death.
An estimated 800 people attended the
Canine Seppe will be retired and given
to Crapse's family. Crapse
leaves behind a wife of eleven years Ashli Crapse and three children,
one son Robert Warren “Robby” Crapse, Jr. and two
daughters Sarah Lynn and Natalie Faye Crapse.
Ages of his children are 6,8, and 10.
A fund to benefit the family
of Bryan County Deputy Sheriff Robert Crapse has been set up at the
Heritage Bank, 16 Railroad Street East, in Pembroke. The bank may be
contacted at 912-653-2265. You can donate to the "Crapse Family Memorial
Fund", account #41894833 at any Heritage Bank.
Patricia Ann Collins’
blood-alcohol level was approaching twice the legal limit when the car
she was driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 collided with Bryan
County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Sgt. Bobby Crapse’s vehicle and
killed him. A Traffic Crash Report released on 7/17/12 showed that
A blood sample taken from her at Memorial and tested by the GBI showed
Collin’s blood-alcohol content was .139 after she arrived at the
hospital. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more is
considered driving under the influence in Georgia.
MA2 Sean Brazas
May 30, 2012 -
- Age 26
26, U.S. Navy Master at Arms 2nd Class, died on May 30, 2012.
Brazas arrived in
Afghanistan on May 1, his birthday, and
by a single bullet while helping a fellow serviceman into a helicopter
during "combat operations in Panjwa'l, Afghanistan. Brazas's working dog
and partner, Sicario, was reportedly treated for heat exhaustion that
day but was not injured in the ambush attack. Originally he is from
Greensboro, NC. In April, just before the pair deployed, Brazas
and Sicario went through the
Inter-Service Advance Skills K9
course, the three-week, Marine-run training program based out of Yuma
Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ. Upon completion of the course the pair
received high honors, claiming the Top Dog Award.
Brazas was assigned to Naval Base Kitsap Security Detachment in
Sean Brazas was buried
June 19, 2012 at Arlington National Cemetery in
Arlington, Virginia with approximately 150 in attendance. Approximately
fifteen Navy Military Working Dogs were at attendance at his funeral. Brazas
is survived by his wife, Allie Marie Brazas,
13-month-old daughter, Addisen
Jade Hasenwinkel, both of Bremerton, WA.
The family requests that
donations in his name be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey
May 24, 2012 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 22
CPL Keaton G. Coffey, 22, died on May 24, 2012 while
conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, his
dog, Denny, survived. He was from Boring, Oregon. Keaton enlisted in
the USMC in August of 2008. CPL Keaton G. Coffey was on his second
tour of duty. He was assigned to 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, 1st
Marine Headquarters Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, where he
was a working dog handler out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. On Nov. 19,
2011, Keaton proposed to his best friend and soul mate, Brittany Dygert. They were planning to be married on July 14, 2012.
A bagpipe played Amazing Grace at his funeral on 6/4/12. and his service was with
full military honors rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps at Willamette
National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. The
charities selected by the family are: the Fisher House for Families
of the Fallen, the United States War Dogs Association, the Wounded
Warrior Project or to the Keaton Coffey Scholarship Fund at Damascus
Ofc. Richard Wayne Johnson
May 20, 2012 - Arp, Texas
- Age 37
Officer Richard Wayne Johnson, 37, was killed in an
off duty car crash on Interstate-20 near mile marker 628 at about
1:13 p.m. on 5/20/12. Johnson was the K-9 unit officer for the Arp
Police Department for two years and he was the Arp Independent
School District Resource Officer. At the time of the crash, Johnson
was traveling west on the Interstate with his two daughters, ages 17
and 7, when he apparently lost control of the vehicle due to a blown
struck a median
veered into oncoming traffic and overturned.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was not wearing a seatbelt.
His daughters were uninjured in the crash. He is survived two
daughters, Alyson and Nicole Johnson; two stepsons, Colton and Corey
Vance. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American State
Bank of Arp, c/o of Alyson and Nicole Johnson, P.O. Box 100, Arp,
Sgt. Dick Alson Lee Jr.
April 26, 2012 -Ghanzi Province, Afghanistan
- Age 31
canine handler, Sgt. Dick A. Lee
Jr, 31, was killed onApril 26, in Afghanistan along with
his bomb-detecting dog, a
German shepherd named Fibi
. Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr.,
had been in Afghanistan
23 days and was on his deployment's first mission. few weeks ago to handle dogs trained to sniff for
explosives. He was killed when a vehicle he was riding in encountered an
improvised explosive device. He was killed while serving in Ghanzi
Province, Afghanistan. Also Staff Sgt. Brandon F. Eggleston died from
injuries with Sgt. Dick A. Lee Jr. who was also in the vehicle when they
struck an improvised explosive device. Lee, 31, had signed up for the
Army during his senior year at Keystone Heights High, aiming at a career
as a military policeman when he graduated in 2000. He was 12 years into
his service, he planned to stay until he could retire, then find work as
a police officer. Lee was assigned to the 95th Military Police
Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, part of the 21st Theater
Sustainment Command in Sembach, Germany. He is survived by his wife,
Katherine G. Lee, and two sons, David and Joshua, in Germany and were
from of Orange Park, Fla. Approximately five hundred people attended his
Donations for the family may
be made to the Sgt. Lee Memorial Fund established at Capital City Bank
by the American Legion Keystone-Melrose Post 202.
Ofc. Scott Dietz
April 21, 2012 - Chicago, Illinois - Age 60
Dietz, 60, died of a heart attack. He was a retired police canine
handler who worked in the 16th and 20th police
districts. He later worked at O’Hare Airport with his trusted
bomb-sniffing dog Bart investigating unattended luggage and stalled
vehicles. He was a dog handler at O’Hare until
his retirement nearly two years ago. They were often called on to
sweep Air Force One and VIP motorcades for explosives for U.S.
presidents and vice presidents, and kings and queens. Other police K9
officers paid tribute to him by bringing their partners to Cooney’s
Funeral Home. He and Bart, a yellow Labrador retriever, were inseparable
and even retired together. So it was fitting that Bart stayed next to
his master’s body at the funeral parlor.
Mr. Dietz is also survived by
his children, Christopher and Colleen.
Deputy Sheriff Brian E. Hayden
April 19, 2012 - Soper, Oklahoma - Age 47
County Deputy Sheriff Brian Hayden, 47, was killed in a
collision with another while both were responding to assist
a third officer on 4/19/12. The crash occurred at about 9:30
p.m. on U.S. 70, 3.2 miles west of Soper. Hayden collided
with Choctaw tribal police Officer Josiah Moore, 29. Hayden
died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash, and was
pronounced dead on arrival at Choctaw Memorial Hospital in
Hugo. Moore was rushed to Medical Center of Plano (Texas).
The two were separately responding to a call to assist a
Choctaw County deputy with shots fired. Both were wearing
seat belts and had lights and sirens activated. The
collision occurred when Hayden turned left onto a county
road and Moore's car struck his pickup's driver side door.
Before going to work as a Deputy for the Choctaw County
Sheriff’s Office for four months, in 1986, he joined the
USAF and served out county for 20 years, retiring as a
Master Sergeant in Security Forces. He did many tours
overseas as well as personal security for 3 different US
Presidents. During his military career, he also served as a
reserve officer for Spencer, Oklahoma, Oklahoma County and
Nicoma Park, Oklahoma. After his USAF retirement, he served
full-time as the Nicoma Park K9 Officer. In December 2011,
he moved closer to home and became the first K9 Deputy for
Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Choctaw Deputy Bryan
Hadyen spent his last moments in his patrol car with his K9
companion Sampson. K9 Sampson will continue to still serve
Choctaw County. Nearly 400 people came together to honor a
fallen man in uniform. Deputy Hayden was cremated and his
organs donated. Deputy
Hayden leaves behind his wife, Tabitha Hayden; his children,
Jessica, Andrew, Hilly, James, Wyatt, Austin, Jacqualyne and
Kelly and his K9 partner “Sampson”. A memorial fund has been
established in Brian’s honor at the First Bank of Hugo where
donations may be made. The address is
First Bank of
Hugo, Brian and Tabitha Hayden, 1501 E. Jackson, Hugo, OK
Sgt. Scott Tatrow
April 14, 2012 - Wayland, Michigan - Age 46
Scott Tatrow, 46, with the Allegan County Sheriff's Department died
unexpectedly after being rushed from his Wayland home by ambulance to
Metropolitan Hospital with a very high temperature of 107 degrees on 4/14/12.
He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 1:15 a.m. Tatrow was a
decorated and skilled officer who served as a K9 Dog handler, Tactical
Team (SWAT) member, Michigan Sheriff's Association Mission Team
Investigator and was part of
the original Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard.
His work was also recognized with many awards including a
2003 letter of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service, a 2004 letter
of appreciation for years of service to the Tactical Team, a 2007 letter
of Commendation for Law Enforcement Service, and 2009 Allegan County
Sheriff's Office Certificate of Professional Excellence. Sgt. Tatrow was
a handler for K9 Jock, a Belgian Malinois, who earned the reputation as
being one of the top narcotic detector dogs in the nation. Tatrow had recently
returned from a trip. After he was taken to the hospital, firefighters
went to Tatrow's home dressed in HazMat gear to remove clothing and
other items to have them checked amid concerns that an infection may
have contributed to his death. An autopsy performed showed that he
died from E. coli stemming from a urinary tract
was a 19-year veteran of the sheriff's office, joining the staff March
Tatrow is survived by his wife Lynn
of 22 years and two
Tatrow and Jessica Lambright.
Memorial Contributions may
be made to "Thin Blue Line" of Michigan.
LCpl Abraham Tarwoe
April 12, 2012 - Helmand, Afghanistan - Age 25Lance Corpral
Abraham Tarwoe was killed on 4/12/12 in Afghanistan. His K9, Yeager,
He was assigned to the 2nd
Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine
Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. At the age of seven he and his
family left Liberia to escape the civil war there and made his home in
Providence, Rhode Island. Lance Corpral Abraham Tarwoe joined the
Marines in June of 2009. He
leaves behind his wife, Juah Kelly, and their 18-month-old son, Avant. His body
was flown on May 5 to his county where he was born in Liberia, for
burial. Lance Corpral Abraham Tarwoe received
the Purple Heart.
Deputy Jim St. Pierre
March 24, 2012 - Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan - Age 51
Deputy Jim St Pierre died of
a heart attack on the morning of 3/24/12 in Tarin Kowt in southern
Afghanistan. He worked for the Pasco Sheriff's Department in Florida and had worked
with a few K9 partners. He worked with his first K9 “Bullet” in 1986 and
both responded to an emergency situation at a house to calm Herman
Hendrix, a 62-year-old man who had a lengthy criminal record. He was
drunk and threatening violence. He pointed a shotgun at deputies and ran
behind a shed. St. Pierre unleashed Bullet, an 80-pound German shepherd.
St. Pierre, then 26 and in only his third year on the job, heard another
blast. He expected Hendrix had shot his dog, and suddenly the gunman
came around the corner of the shed. St. Pierre, ordered the man to drop
the gun. When Hendrix refused, the deputy St. Pierre shot six times from
15 feet. Hendrix died at the scene. K9 Bullet sustained a minor pellet
wound. In September 1993, he and his second canine partner, Puma,
tracked a man wanted in New Port Richey in two stabbings. The man lunged
at them with a razor-blade knife, slashing both. Puma's days as a police
dog were done, though he continued to live with the St. Pierres. He was
hired by American K-9 Detection Services to work with dogs trained to
root out narcotics. He is survived by his ex wife Tina and children,
Angie, Timmy and Kalah. St. Pierre was returning to Florida in 56 days.
Officer Jerome "Jerry" Larson
January 24, 2012 - Duluth, Minnesota - Age 68
Jerome "Jerry" Larson, 68, died on January 24, 2012, at home after a
battle with cancer. He served in the Army, 101st Airborne Division,
where he earned both Airborne and Ranger tabs.
He had spent much of his life handling and
training police dogs, and serving as a mentor to the next generation of
handlers. In 1976 he took the initiative to acquire and train 2-year-old
German Shepherd, Joe, and talked the department into adding him to the
and Joe worked some memorable cases in their five-or-so years together
on the Duluth police force. In 1981, after Joe started to slow
down, Larson retired his K-9 partner.
He founded the Police K-9
Association for Duluth and became the first K-9 Officer in Duluth
history. He was thoroughly respected throughout the county for his
knowledge, skill, and experience working with police K-9s. Many of the
K-9s he trained became nationally known for their excellent work within
Police K-9 Association.
After Larson retired from
the force in 1990, he still trained and mentored other dogs and
Larson was brought out of retirement to conduct the training for his
police department. Many said some techniques Larson taught back then
were ahead of their time, and picked up by other departments years
He is survived by a daughter, Wanda, and two sons, Jerry and Scott. In
lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in his name to the Duluth Police
K-9 Fund, Attn: Gordon Ramsay, at 211 W. 1st. St., Duluth MN, 55802.
Sgt. Mark Patrick Day
December 22, 2011 - Renton, Washington - Age 62
Renton Police Sergeant Mark Day, 62, died on December 22, 2011, following a
fifteen year battle with cancer. At age 38, he made the decision to
pursue a career in law enforcement. Sergeant Day graduated first in
class overall in 1987 from the Washington State Criminal Justice
Training Commission, Law Enforcement Academy, and joined the Renton
Police Department later that year. Sergeant Day worked for the Renton
Police for 23 years, retiring October 31, 2010. During his career
Sergeant Day rose through the ranks, eventually becoming an Acting
Commander and ultimately a Sergeant in the Investigations Division.
Sergeant Day was selected by the Renton Police Department as the
Employee of the Quarter twice: first in 1997, and again in 2008. In 1990
Sergeant Day was awarded a position on the Canine Unit, and was assigned
a German Shepherd puppy named Buck as part of the City’s “Puppy
Program.” K9 Officer Buck partnered with Sergeant Day until 1997, when
the Buck retired from the police force to live out his days with the Day
family. Sergeant Day went on to lead and train the Renton Police
Department Canine Teams, ultimately becoming a Master Canine Trainer in
2001. The dynamic duo of Day and Buck arrested over 200 suspects
including a person who kidnapped a four-year-old and two homicide
suspects, one in Tukwila another in Seattle. Buck passed away on July 9,
2001 also from cancer. A book was written about Day and Buck both
dealing with cancer at the same time, with the animal dying in his arms.
Ted Koppel, formerly of ABC-TV's "Nightline," interviewed him after
learning that Day was going to have another of his tracking dogs blessed
at his Catholic church, which stirred some national controversy.
Sergeant Day graduated from Renton High School in 1968. While at Renton,
Day was student body president his senior year, chosen for the high
school All-American Football Team in 1967, and was captain of the
football and track teams in both 1967 and 1968. He earned a full
athletic scholarship to the University of Washington and played with
Stanford's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jim Plunkett. Sergeant Day
is survived by his wife of over 40 years, Marcia Day; his three grown
children: Natalie , Kyle , and Aaron.
Officer Darren Kunz
December 17, 2011 - Fergus Fall, Minnesota - Age 40
Darren Kunz, 40, of Fergus
Falls, Minnesota, passed away on 2/17/11 under the care of Lakeland
Hospice at Sheridan House after nearly a year long battle with lung and
brain cancer. Darren attended Alexandria Technical College, graduating
with top honors from the Law Enforcement Program in 1997. After school,
Darren worked part time for the Pelican Rapids Police Department and
later the Fergus Falls Police Department. A short time later, Darren
went to work for the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Department full time.
Darren was a SWAT Team member and instrumental in bringing in the
departments first narcotics-only canine, closing several cases and
winning numerous awards. Darren won a Meritorious Service Award from the
Chiefs of Police for his part in dealing with a chainsaw-wielding
suspect. Darren is survived by his wife, Beth, his daughter Elizabeth,
2, step daughters, Nichelle, 16, and Chelsea,10, step son, Nathan, 14, and his
beloved K9, Nijka. Anyone wishing to contribute can send donations to:
Beth Kunz, 514 West Laurel, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
Corporal Rohan "Roti" Richardson
December 6, 2011 - Antigua - Age ?
Corporal Rohan Richardson, of the Royal Police Force,
died on December 6, 2011 at Mount St John’s Medical Centre after
suddenly falling ill. Richardson was found when Richardson’s
fiancée and live-in companion, also a member of the force, was trying
to get a hold of him but was unable to do so. The woman had forgotten
her cell phone at home and wanted him to deliver it to her. After
calling his phone for some time without answer, the female officer asked
her daughter to go to the house to check on the police corporal. It was
at this time that Richardson was found in the bathroom by his
stepdaughter lying on the bathroom floor conscious at the time but
unable to communicate. He might have fallen and hit his head. Emergency
Medical Service (EMS) was summoned to the scene. He was rushed to Mount
St John’s Medical Centre, where he was later pronounced dead. Corporal
Richardson headed the Canine Unit since its establishment over three
Officer Kevin Weber
November 3, 2011 - Fort Wayne, Indiana - Age 55
Kevin Weber died on November 3, 2011 from
a type of brain cancer that he was diagnosed with in April and went out
on medical leave. He served his country in the US Navy and was employed at
the Baer Field Airport Department of Safety, the Allen County Police
Department, and was a police officer for the Fort Wayne Police
Department for 31 years, 24 of his years on the department were spent as
a K-9 officer.
Weber graduated from K-9 training in 1987
and became a trainer in 1994.Kevin was a nationally accredited Master Trainer,
certified by the North American Police Work Dog Association, and had the privalege of training police work dogs and handlers throughout the
country for the past 17 years.
Weber’s first dog, Zak, became the first certified narcotic-detection
dog for Fort Wayne police. Another of his dogs, Badge, was cross-trained
to track people and detect bombs and drugs. He is survived
by his daughter, Megan, 21; sons, Matt, 19 and Kevin Jr, 13; and former
wife and mother of the children, Stacey. Donations can be made to
Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home, Cancer Services or the Fallen Hero Fund.
Officer Derek Kotecki
October 12, 2011 - Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania - Age 40
Officer Derek Kotecki, 40, was shot and killed in on 10/12/11 at
approximately 7:00 p.m. while responding to a Dairy Queen to arrest
Charlie Arthur Post, 33, who was wanted for an incident that
occurred earlier on October 2nd on charges including
attempted homicide and aggravated assault for allegedly firing
several shots at his boss, Terry Janosky, 44, a New Kensington
building contractor. Janosky told police he had a dispute with Post
and agreed to meet him in a motel parking lot, only to have Post
scream and open fire when he arrived. Janosky was not hurt. There
were three bullet holes on the driver's side of Janosky's truck from
a large caliber handgun, including one right above the driver's side
window. Police recovered 12 shell casings at the scene. Police knew
that Post was dangerous and a Lower Burrell detective had reached
Post by cell phone after the Oct. 2 incident and tried to convince
Post to turn himself in. When Police learned he was at the Dairy
Queen on 10/12/11 several officers were converging on the scene to
make the arrest and Kotecki was among the first to arrive at the
Dairy Queen which is located on on Greensburg Road, near the
Plum/Lower Burrell border. Post saw the officers approaching and he
stepped out of a Jeep he was driving and opened fire. Kotecki was
only ten minutes into his shift when he was
felled by the gunfire.
died from gunshot wounds to the head, left arm and abdomen.
Witnesses said Post lay in the rear of the Jeep holding a pistol,
and as Kotecki got out of his SUV with Odin, Post fired the gun
through the closed back window, shattering it.
Post tried to escape, but came to a fence
that he could not scale. He turned back toward the police officers
and shot himself. At the same instant, the officers fired at Post.
Post died from
gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen.
Kotecki was an 18-year veteran with the Lower
Burrell Police Department and was the department's K-9 officer.
Officer Kotecki's first K9 Benny retired and died and was replaced
by Odin, Kotecki's K9 partner at the time of his death. Kotecki's K-9 had
to be muzzled after the shooting and led away because the animal
would not leave the slain officer's body.
studied criminal justice at Mercyhurst College in Erie. In 1992,
just before joining Lower Burrell's force, he worked as an officer
in Ocean City, Md.
A horse-drawn carriage carried Officer Kotecki's body to the church
for the service.
Officer Kotecki's funeral was attended by approximately four
thousand people and about fifty K9 officer's attended with their
A gray hearse with
Kotecki's body was led into the cemetery with a riderless
horse. The empty saddle and glossy riding boots facing rearward in
the stirrups is a traditional military honor. Seven officers used
ceremonial shotguns to fire three times each for the 21-gun salute.
Moments later, a state police helicopter flew low over the cemetery
to pay respects. A combined bagpipe and drum corps performed
"Amazing Grace." A little bit later, a flight of white doves was
Officer Kotecki's K9 Odin was retired and given to Kotecki's
family. Kotecki is survived by his wife, Julie J. Nash Kotecki and two sons,
Nicholas Bert Kotecki,13, and Alexander Bert Kotecki,11 and his K9
A fund has been
set up for the Kotecki family in honor of our fallen Police Officer
Derek Kotecki at the following: S&T Bank, 4251 Old William Penn
Highway, Murrysville, PA 15668 or Derek Kotecki Memorial Fund, C/O
Fraternal Order of Police, Allegheny Valley Lodge #39. Make checks
payable to: Derek Kotecki Memorial Fund.
Police agencies across the Alle-Kiski Valley --
including New Kensington, Lower Burrell, Allegheny Township,
Harrison, Springdale Township, Indiana Township, Tarentum and
Plum -- have charged Charles Post with a slew of minor offenses
over the past 17 years, including numerous incidents of traffic
violations, disorderly conduct and harassment. Of the 50
different incidents, here are some examples:
• Oct. 2011:
New Kensington police charged Post with attempted homicide,
aggravated assault, theft, reckless endangerment and other
• Dec. 2010:
Lower Burrell police charged Post with possession of drug
paraphernalia and six summary driving citations. All charges
except for paraphernalia and driving with suspended license were
withdrawn. He failed to appear for a guilty plea before Judge
John Blahovec on Oct. 7, 2011.
• March 2002:
Lower Burrell charged Post with aggravated assault, simple
assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. An arrest
warrant issued in 2005 because he tested positive for opiates
and cocaine, a violation of his parole or bail.
• Oct. 2001:
Lower Burrell police -- Kotecki -- cited Post for
criminal mischief. He was found not guilty.
• Aug. 1999:
Leechburg charged Post with driving under the influence, driving
with a suspended license and another traffic citation. He
pleaded guilty to drunken driving, while the other charges were
• Aug. 1999:
Lower Burrell police cited Post for a traffic
• April 1997:
Lower Burrell charged Post with drunken driving and a summary
count of buying alcohol as a minor.
Sgt. Christopher Diaz
September 28, 2011 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 27
Staff Sgt. Christopher Diaz,
was killed on September 28 after being wounded while rushing to the aid
of a comrade who had been shot when he was killed by an IED during
combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As a working dog
handler he achieved almost unparalleled professional success, including
being selected to attend an advanced training program for several months
in Israel. After completing the course, Diaz was one of only a handful
of dog handlers in the Corps to have the qualifications he possessed.
His skill and professionalism lead to him being chosen to support
reconnaissance and special forces in some of the most dangerous places
During his eight years of loyal service he did one
tour in Iraq, one tour in Israel, and one tour in Afghanistan.
This was his first
deployment to Afghanistan. He deployed in
May to Afghanistan and was due to return in late December. His awards
include the Combat Action Ribbon, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Navy
and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon,
Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Navy And Marine Corps
Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War On Terrorism
Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Meritorious Unit
Commendation, Certificate Of Commendation ( Individual Award ) Letter Of
Appreciation and Purple Heart. He is survived by his family a young daughter,
Mia E. Davis and young son, Jeremy C. Diaz. and K9 partner "Dino".
His Funeral was held in El Paso, Texas on 10/10/11 and more than one
thousand people attended his funeral. He was buried at Fort
Bliss National Cemetery
with full military honors.
Sgt. Mycal Lee Prince
September 15, 2011 -
Laghman Province, Afghanistan
- Age 28
Sergeant Mycal L. Prince of Minco, Oklahoma was killed in Laghman
Province in Afghanistan on September 15, 2011 from injuries sustained
during an insurgent attack. His unit was fired upon by insurgents using
rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire. Prince was a member of
Company A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Brigade Combat
Team in the Oklahoma National Guard, which is based out of Edmond and
headquartered in Stillwater. His unit was deployed to Afghanistan in
March of 2011. He joined the Guard five days after his 17th birthday and
served over ten years. He deployed to assist the people of New Orleans
after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and went to Iraq in 2008. Mycal
worked for Rush Springs Police Department for three years then worked for
Minco Police Department as a K9 officer with his K9 partner
"Bayca" for the past two years before being deployed to Afghanistan.
While with the Minco Police Department, Officer Prince and K9 Bayca
helped with drug interdiction.
military presented seven awards to Sgt. Prince's family, including a purple heart.
Prince leaves behind his wife Surana
Smith Mycal and
two young daughters, Raelynn and Mycaela. Sergeant Mycal was buried on
9/26/11 at Bradley Cemetery in Bradley Oklahoma. First National Bank and Trust has set up a fund to help the family. Donations can be made in the Prince family name.
Officer Thokozani Patrick Ngcobo
August 9, 2011 - Ladysmith, South Africa - Age 47
Officer Thokozani Ngcobo, of Ladysmith South Africa was shot and killed
on 8/9/11 in his vehicle at 7:00 p.m. by gunmen when he arrived home in
his drive-way . Ngcobo had been a dedicated member of the Ladysmith K9
unit for 15 years and served as a police officer for 24 years. After
Officer Ngcobo was shot the suspects ran off. Ngcobo was taken to
hospital by his neighbor and pronounced dead on arrival. He died as a result of multiple bullet wounds. Ngcobo had just arrived home in his
police uniform from work but had taken his protective vest off. He
was expected to give evidence at the trial of six men, including an
ex-colleague charged with a money-in-transit robbery in October 2009 in
which three people were killed. Ngcobo had reportedly declined to enter
a witness protection program. He leaves a wife and two children. The
ones accused of the heist facing trial in the high court are Jerody Mthimunye
(34), Philemon Nhleko (38), Ewat Ndubuko, Zikethela Sokhela (30), Mandla
Maloi (37) and former Ladysmith police sergeant Siyabonga Nkwanyana
No arrests have been made
at this stage and police are still investigating. He is survived by his
wife and two children.
A reward of R25 000 ( $
3,279 US dollars
) was offered on 3/15/2012 for
any information that leads to the capture of those who assassinated him.Navy Seal John
August 6, 2011 - Wardak Province, Afghanistan, - Age 26Navy Seal,
Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist)
John Douangdara, 26,
of South Sioux City, Neb.
a dog handler, was killed on 8/6/11 along with his K9 Bart. They were
in a Chinook helicopter and
had rushed to the mountainous area to help a US army ranger unit under
fire from insurgents. The team of reinforcements had completed the
mission, subduing the attackers who had the rangers pinned down, and
were departing in their Chinook helicopter when the aircraft was hit by
a rocket-propelled grenade. The brave American troops Killed In
Action were brought back to the U.S. on August 10, 2011 and embraced by
the families and President Obama.
He was a very dedicated K9 handler and
participated in many training seminars held around the U.S.
He enlisted in the United States Navy in
February 2003. After graduating Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes,
Ill., in April 2003, he reported to his initial service school training
at Norfolk. Upon completion of his initial training, he reported to
Naval Air Station Sigonella Security Detachment, Sicily in June 2003. In
August 2006, he reported to Public/Ordnance Safety Security Force, New
London, Groton, Conn. He then reported to his East Coast based SEAL Team
in January 2008.
He was the lead dog handler for the elite Seal
the same elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
Petty Officer Douangdara’s awards include the Bronze Star with “V”
device, Joint Service Commendation Medal with “V” Device, Army
Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal,
National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq
Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service
Deployment Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (3), Rifle Marksmanship
Medal, and the Pistol Marksmanship Medal. John Douangdara was buried at
Arlington National Cemetery on 8/26/11.A John Douangdara Memorial Statue, a
bronze half life-sized statue of him and his combat dog Bart was
sculpted by Susan Bahary and was unveiled on Memorial Day 5/27/13 at the
fifty five acre Siouxland Freedom Park in South Sioux City, Nebraska.
Memorial donations may be sent to John Douangdara Memorial Fund
at the Siouxland Federal Credit Union, 3000 Plaza Drive, South Sioux
City, NE 68776.
Other Navy Seals killed in the Chinook helicopter with him were
Petty Officer 1st Class
Derek C. Benson,
28, of Angwin, Calif., Chief Petty Officer
Brian R. Bill,
31, of Stamford, Conn., Petty Officer 1st Class (Parachutist)
Christopher G. Campbell,
36, of Jacksonville, N.C., Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary
Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist)
Jared W. Day,
28, of Taylorsville, Utah, Chief Petty Officer John
31, of Minneapolis, Minn., Chief Petty Officer
Kevin A. Houston,
35, of West Hyannisport, Mass., Lt. Cmdr.
Jonas B. Kelsall, 32,
of Shreveport, La., Master Chief Petty Officer Lou
44, of Santa Barbara, Calif., Chief Petty Officer Matt
37, of Kansas City, Mo., Chief Petty Officer
Stephen M. Mills,
35, of Fort Worth, Texas, Petty Officer 1st Class
Jesse D. Pittman,
27, of Ukiah, Calif., Senior Chief Petty Officer
Tommy A. Ratzlaff,
34, of Green Forest, Ark., Chief Petty Officer
Robert J. Reeves,
32, of Shreveport, La., Chief Petty Officer
Heath M. Robinson,
34, of Detroit, Mich., Petty Officer 2nd Class Nick
24, of Saint Paul, Minn., Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare
Michael J. Strange,
25, of Philadelphia, Pa., Petty Officer 1st Class (Enlisted Surface
Jon T. Tumilson,
35, of Rockford, Iowa , Petty Officer 1st Class
Arron C. Vaughn,
30, of Stuart, Fla.,
Petty Officer 1st Class
Jason R. Workman,
32, of Blanding, Utah.
Members of the Army killed in the Chinook helicopter were
Alexander J. Bennett,
24, of Tacoma, Wash, Chief Warrant Officer
David R. Carter,
47, of Centennial, Colo, Spc.
Spencer C. Duncan,
21, of Olathe, Kan.,
Patrick D. Hamburger,
30, of Lincoln, Neb., Chief Warrant Officer
Bryan J. Nichols,
31, of Hays, Kan.
Members of the Air Force killed in the were
John W. Brown,
33, of Tallahassee, Fla., Staff Sgt.
Andy W. Harvell,
26, of Long Beach, Calif.,
28, of York, Pa.
Members of the Navy EOD killed in the Chinook helicopter were
Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall
Nick H. Null,
30, of Washington, W.Va.
Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall
Kraig M. Vickers,
36, of Kokomo, Hawaii.
Officer Roy Sims
August 5, 2011 - Montgomery, Ohio - Age 51
Officer Roy Sims, 51, was
struck and killed on a motorcycle on 8/5/11 while escorting a hearse
during a funeral. He was off duty and on private detail at the time. At
11:39 a.m. Officer Sims had just cleared an intersection and was
accelerating to get to the front of the line of cars when the hearse
make a right turn and hit Ofc. Sims’ Police motorcycle at Gate of
Heaven Cemetery entrance on Montgomery Road. The impact threw Officer
Sims 27 feet and his head struck a curb, sustaining significant head
trauma. Sims was alert and talking to rescue workers immediately after
the accident. He was transported by ground to Bethesda North Hospital.
And was pronounced dead around 3 p.m. Roy worked for the Covington
Police Department beginning Sept. 22, 1988 where he was a K9 Handler
through Sept. 1, 2008, retiring as a Sergeant. He then started work as
an Officer for the Northern Kentucky University Police
Department . Sims' personnel file was filled with commendations
and letters of appreciation for his service in both the military and in
law enforcement. He served in the United States Armed Forces and was a
Gulf War Veteran. When his K9 partner "Cliff" died after working with
him for seven years, Officer Sims laid his canine officer pins on the
dog's coffin at the memorial service for Cliff. Sergeant
Sims final act of service to his community was to donate his tissue and
organs in the hopes of improving or extending the life of another. He
was a Schutzhund Trainer
Officer Sims is survived by
his wife, Lori Brockell Sims, twin sons Matthew and Daniel, Ryan, Cory
and daughter Emily Sims. . A fund made to Roy Sims Memorial Fund has
been set up through the Bank of Kentucky.
Trooper Fred Guthrie Jr.
August 1, 2011 - Holt County, Missouri - Age 46
Trooper Fred Guthrie, 46, drowned on 8/1/11 while
on duty in the area of Route 118 and
Route 111 in Holt County Missouri. Trooper Guthrie was on river flood
patrol duty at the time. He was last seen
having lunch with other troopers at 1:00p.m. on 8/1/11. At 3:00 p.m. his
work vehicle was found with the engine running with the drivers door
open and with boat still attached to a trailer and Trooper Guthrie could
not be located. His K9 partner “Reed”, a German Shepherd and five year
veteran of the patrol was found dead in the water on 8/2/11 at 6:25 p.m.
The K9 was recovered about 100 yards away from where Trooper Guthrie’s
vehicle was found. No one saw Trooper Guthrie enter the water so it is
not known why he entered the water. Trooper Guthrie had been in law
enforcement for seventeen years. On
August 27, 2008, Officer Guthrie was presented with The Medal of Valor
by Gov. Matt Blunt. Trooper Guthrie was presented the award for saving a
woman on June 22, 2007 from drowning in Smithville Lake. The award is
presented to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional
courage, extraordinary decisiveness and presence of mind, and unusual
swiftness of action, regardless of his or her personal safety, in the
attempt to save or protect human life. This act is deemed to be above
and beyond the call of duty. Trooper Fred
Guthrie's body was never recovered. He is survived
by his wife and three children ages 14 to 20 years old. Donations can
be made in care of the Guthrie Family Fund, Bank of Weston, P.O. Box 8,
Weston, Missouri, 64098.
A judge legally declared
him dead in September of 2011. At a funeral service on Dec. 14, 2011, a
casket was buried that held memorabilia of the trooper, as well as the
cremated remains of K9 Reed. Officers
carried baskets filled with yellow tennis balls into the church. Guthrie
had used tennis balls to train Reed. After the service, many of the law
enforcement officers joined a procession that traveled nearly 80 miles
to the Knob Noster Cemetery in Knob Noster. The procession, led by
police motorcycles with emergency lights flashing, included Guthrie’s
truck and boat.
The body of Trooper Fred
Guthrie Jr. was found January 12, 2012 , approximately 2:00 p.m. in a
brush pile near the spot where the remains of his canine partner, Reed,
were found. Guthrie's body was found about 200 to 300 yards from where
he disappeared over five months earlier.
Trooper Guthrie was unearthed from “several feet” of sand
by a crew from Hill Brothers Construction, a company that had been
contracted by the Missouri Department of Transportation to rebuild the
highway and fill a four-acre gap in Missouri Highway 111 with silt from
nearly 44,000 acres of flooded farmland.
Christopher M. Wrinkle
July 31, 2011 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 29
Sgt. Christopher M. Wrinkle, 29, of
Dallastown, Pa., died July 31 while supporting combat operations in
Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Wrinkle was assigned to 2nd Marine
Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S.
Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C. He
died while trying to save his military working dog Tosca, who died in
the fire that swept
through his barracks and also killed two other Marines,
Staff Sgt. Patrick R. Dolphin, 29,of Holly Ridge,
North Carolina and Sgt. Dennis E. Kancler, 26, of Brecksville, Ohio.K9 Tosca's
ashes were in the church next to Sgt. Wrinkle and were buried together.
Sgt. Wrinkle spent almost ten years serving with the U.S. Marine Corps
Special Operations Command based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North
Carolina. Wrinkle had been awarded two purple hearts, Combat Action
Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal and
Sea Service. Contributions can be made to the Sgt. Christopher M.
Wrinkle and Tosca Memorial Fund care of Metro Bank. The funds will
benefit the Courtyard of Honor at Dallastown High School and the U.S.
War Dog Association.
Deputy Bryan Phillip Gross
July 28, 2011 -
- Age 29
Deputy Bryan P. Gross, 29, died while on
duty on 7/28/11, three days before his 30th birthday,
after responding to an emergency call about a person being swept away in
the North Platte River. He drowned while participating in an effort to
rescue a juvenile female who had been reported struggling in the river
about 5 p.m.
The 14 year old girl was in town for a 4-H fair. She was distraught with
her boyfriend, and she jumped in the river. The girl entered the
waterway near the Douglas Yellowstone Bridge, which joins both sides of
Douglas, 50 miles east of Casper. Gross had entered into the river from
one side while several others swam in from the other. After
the girl was rescued about a mile downstream by
Officer Jeremiah Owens along with two citizens, Keith Thompson, 19, and
Lane Morgan, 16, from the river.
Then upon a personnel check with those involved in the rescue, some
concern was raised after Deputy Gross failed to report in and a search
was started to locate him forty five minutes later.
was located on Pearson Street near the river, and his vest, boots, shirt
and duty belt were located a short distance away near the river. The girl after being rescued
was taken to Memorial Hospital and remained hospitalized. The North Platte River
was higher than normal following heavy snows last winter and the river
was running at 6,620 cubic feet per second at a nearby gauging station.
The flow averages only 2,110 cfs on the same date over the past 60
years. People with expertise participating in the search and
utilizing everything at their disposal were divers,
people on jet skis, other water craft, along with planes, National Guard
Black Hawk helicopter from Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, teams of
and about fifty law enforcement that walked along the river.
Deputies remained stationed on two bridges during night time and used
searchlights powered by generators to maintain a watch on the river.
Deputy Gross's K9 partner "Gus" was also used in the search to try and
find his handler. Deputy Gross's body was recovered
from the waters of
the North Platte River in Douglas
approximately 66 hours later by divers on
7/31/11 at 11:20 a.m.
between the I-25
Bridge site and Anderson Dairy Bridge, 1.5 miles downstream from where
was last seen entering the river.
Deputy Bryan Gross is being hailed as a hero
for attempting to save the girl from the high-flowing North Platte River
in the town of Douglas. Deputy Gross had worked at the police department
as a drug officer, handling a narcotic canine. Gross had been with the Converse County Sheriff's Office for
approximately three months. Prior to joining the sheriff's office, he
had been a member of the Douglas Police Department. His K9 partner was "Gus". Deputy
Gross is survived by his wife,
Amy Spruiell Gross who he
married 27 days earlier.
Donations to the family of
the fallen deputy can be made at the Converse County Bank, 322 Walnut
Street, Douglas, 82633
Officer Brent Daniel Long
July 11, 2011 -
Terre Haute, Indiana
- Age 34 Officer Brent
Long and his K9 partner Shadow were both shot on 7/11/11 in Terre Haute,
Indiana while serving a warrant issued by a Sullivan County judge to
Shaun M. Seeley, 33, at a home on 1812 north 8th Street after Seeley missed a court appointment.
Originally officers arrived at the home at 2:00 p.m. to arrest
Seeley but no one answered the door. In looking for Seeley, U.S. Marshal
Greg Snider and ISP Sgt. Chris Effner found three stolen all-terrain
vehicles behind the residence. A check of those ATVs revealed that one
had been hot-wired, another had a false vehicle identification number
and another one had been reported stolen and the vehicles were
confiscated from the scene. Approximately 3:15 p.m., police
received a telephone call that Seeley was at the residence, so they
returned to serve the warrant.At 3:27 p.m. officers arrived back at the
home and knocked for a while and heard footsteps and scuffling noises
inside the residence. The
house was equipped with video surveillance cameras that would have
allowed the home's occupants to watch approaching officers.
Heather Elkins and Utterback came to the door. Both denied that Seeley
was inside. Police entered the apartment and found three other people
inside. All five people were taken out of the residence and asked if
Seeley was inside. All five people were shown a color photo of Seeley
and all denied knowing him, or that he was inside the apartment.Long and his dog, Shadow, were the first to
enter the gunman's home ahead of five other officers as a team of state
and local police and a deputy federal marshal were going to serve Seeley an arrest
warrant for violating probation and receiving stolen property. When Officer Long
and his K-9 partner Shadow went into the apartment to look for Seeley,
Officer Long's K9 partner "Shadow" indicated that someone was
possibly inside a closet. Trooper Jason Schoffstall was with Long, and
said the dog indicated on the bedroom closet door a second time. Long
went inside the closet and attempted to remove a board or false wall at
the rear of the closet and according to Schoffstall that is when Seeley
open fire with a 9mm, blue steel, semi-automatic handgun striking
Officer Long and his canine partner "Shadow".Long was backing
out of the closet during an exchange of gunfire, and Schoffstall exited
the bedroom to seek cover. Officer Scott Marshall entered the bedroom,
and immediately faced Seeley, who was pointing a gun at him from five to
six feet away. Marshall saw Long on the floor with his head toward the
bedroom door and his feet toward the closet. Marshall reported that
gunfire was exchanged and all police inside the apartment exited to a
position of cover. They were repelled from the building by more gunfire
and when they made final entry into the apartment to remove Long, police
found Seeley in the living room of the residence, dead with multiple
gunshot wounds to his lower torso and one gunshot wound to the head and
was pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Long was taken to Union Hospital in Terre Haute
and was airlifted to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and died.
Officer Long was wearing his vest at the time but died from two gun shot
wounds to the head. Officer Long's K9 partner "Shadow" was shot in the
face and rushed to
North Heritage Trails
Veterinarian Clinic in Terre Haute but due to the damage to his jaw, he
was later transported to a clinic at Purdue University and survived and
was later released from the veterinary hospital on 7/15/11.
Officer Long donated his organs
so other people will have a chance to live. Long has been
an officer with the department for six years. He's worked as a K9
officer for the past three years, as well as with the swat team. Officer Brent Long's wife, Danielle, is a dispatcher
for Vigo County and was sending crews for Terre Haute police the
afternoon her husband was shot. Officer Long received several
commendations in his career, including two Grand Cordon Medals, an
Honorable Service Medal, a Unit Citation Medal, a Good Conduct Medal and
the Medal of Honor. Just two days prior to his passing, Officer Brent
Long won the department's Officer of the Month award for June for being
one of two officers who stopped a car on the interstate and took a man
into custody that was wanted for murder, made a huge drug bust in
which 6 and a half pounds of cocaine was found and also among a group of
officers who convinced a man to put down a knife that was being held
against the woman's neck. Before Officer Long was killed he had a tattoo of
his K9 partner "Shadow" that he had placed on his back and was often
heard saying Shadow would always have his back. K9 Shadow attended his
partner's service and funeral. K9 Shadow will be retired and will live
with the Long family. Officer Long's funeral was attended by
approximately twenty-five hundred people and over one hundred police
each of them walking passed the flag draped casket. Carnations, with a
dot of red, signifying the officer's bloodshed were placed on Officer
Long's casket, as they said their last goodbyes. Officer Long was buried at
Mount Pleasant Cemetery on
7/18/11."Brent D. Long Memorial Way" is the
first street in Terre Haute to be named after a fallen officer. At a
special ceremony in honor of Officer Brent Long, Officer Long's wife,
Danielle, was escorted into his patrol car unit 208 and spoke over his
radio, saying "Baker 208 10-42" signifying Officer Brent Long has ended
his final shift with the Terre Haute Police Department. He is survived by his wife
and 10-month-old son Levi. Donations can be sent to
the Brent Long Family Fund at any First Financial Bank location. Those wishing to support "Shadow" may
send donations to the Terre Haute Police Department K-9 program.
Shaun M. Seeley
who was shot and killed at the scene
released from the Indiana Department of Correction in February 2010
after serving five years of a 12-year sentence for dealing methamphetamine. That conviction came in September 2005 in Vigo County.
Prior to that, he was sentenced to one year in prison on a theft
conviction out of Greene County. His first conviction came from a
notorious Vigo County murder case In 1998, Seeley was convicted of
assisting a criminal. In this case, Seeley helped Billy Burns dismember
the murdered body of Robert Philips. Burns shot Phillips during a drug
deal gone bad. Burns used Seeley's gun, and Seeley offered up a
relative's property to dispose of Philips's body. While Burns got a 55
year prison sentence, Seeley received only 4 years and did only two
years in prison.
Seeley had been arrested in Clay County in
June 2010 for resisting law enforcement. He was found at a location
where federal agents were serving warrants in a federal drug
investigation. He also had an active court case in Sullivan County for
receiving stolen auto parts and being a habitual offender. That
Sullivan County case was filed in September 2010 after Seeley was found
to be in possession of a stolen pickup truck. The habitual offender
information stated Seeley had prior convictions for assisting a
criminal, dealing methamphetamine and theft. If convicted of being a
habitual offender, he could have received several additional years in
Three days after
the shooting on 7/15/11, Indiana arrested seven people in connection to
the crime scene
that led to the deaths of Terre Haute Police Officer
Brent Long and shooting suspect Shaun Seeley. Those arrests and pending
charges are Heather M. Elkins, 22 (Wife of Shaun Seeley) – Maintaining a
common nuisance, receiving stolen property,
all class-D felonies resisting arrest, possession
of paraphernalia, and false informing,
all class-A misdemeanors.
Police found that
Elkins had received text messages from Seeley, indicating that she was
in contact with the fugitive and that she knew he was inside the house.
Heather Elkins has a criminal history that includes pending cases for
possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, disorderly conduct,
driving while intoxicated, driving without a license, theft, resisting
arrest and visiting a common nuisance. She had been released from jail
on pre- trial release.
(Elkins has several charges
pending for another case in Vigo County.)
Bond: $65,000. - Jesse E. Padgett II, 20 (Cousin of Heather Elkins) –
Assisting a criminal, receiving stolen property, resisting law
enforcement, all class-D felonies,
resisting law enforcement and false informing,
class-A misdemeanors, and visiting a common nuisance, a class-B
Brandy Smith (Jesse Padgett's
girlfriend): visiting a common nuisance -
Charles J. Elkins, 23, (Brother of Heather Elkins) –
Assisting a criminal, receiving stolen property, resisting law
all class-D felonies,visiting a common nuisance and resisting
law enforcement, both class-A misdemeanors. Charles Elkins has a
criminal history that includes a conviction for auto theft, as well as
arrests for resisting law enforcement and possession of methamphetamine
in Division 5 court.Bond: $40,000. - Roberta J. Utterback, 51,
(Shaun Seeley's cousin) Assisting a criminal,
possession of a controlled substance, resisting law enforcement,
all class-D felonies,
resisting law enforcement, class-A misdemeanor,
and visiting a common nuisance, a class-B misdemeanor. Utterback has
criminal cases pending in Division 5 Court for possession of a
controlled substance, criminal mischief and driving under the influence
of a controlled substance.
(Utterback has several charges pending
for another case in Vigo County.) Bond: $70,000. - Virginia D. Torres,
23, (Charles Elkins' girlfriend) Assisting a criminal, resisting law enforcement,
both class-D felonies, false informing and
resisting law enforcement, both class-A misdemeanors, and visiting a
common nuisance, a class-B misdemeanor. Bond: $40,000.
Luke Green (Friend of suspects):
possession of methamphetamine.
Reports say police found Charles Elkins, Jesse Padgett,
and Virginia Torres inside the home. They also denied knowing that
Seeley was at the home and armed. Following the gun fire, police again
asked Heather Elkins, Charles Elkins, Padgett, Utterback, and Torres if
they knew of Seeley’s presence in the home. They denied knowing he was
there and armed. On 7/15/11, Heather Elkins and Jesse Padgett made
official statements to the Indiana State Police and Elkins admitted to
having lied to police about knowing of Seeley’s whereabouts when she was
asked at the scene. Padgett also admitted to having known Seeley was
hidden in the bedroom closet when police entered the home. Padgett said
he was aware that Seeley had taken a firearm from the side of the bed.
Padgett told investigators he saw
Seeley with a gun inside the apartment, and that Padgett said he was
scared that Seeley would do something dangerous.
Based on Padgett’s reports, Elkins then told the rest of the people in
the house to remain quiet and “not say a thing.” Padgett also admitted
that he was aware of a recent semi-automatic firearm that was purchased
from someone in the neighborhood. Virgina Torres also made a statement to the Indiana State
Police. Her statement coincided with Padgett’s statement. She also
reported pandemonium ensued after Elkins emerged telling the others to
remain quiet with police outside. Torres told investigators that Seeley
searched for an item, allegedly the handgun, before going into the
bedroom with Padgett and Charles Elkins prior to police entering the
Investigation into the residence after
the crimes revealed a white powder substance that Elkins and Padgett
reported to be methamphetamine, as well as paraphernalia including pipes
and scales. Scott
a 9 mm handgun even though he knew Seeley was a convicted felon.
Prosecutors said it was illegal for Griffy even to possess a handgun
because of his own criminal record. Prosecutors said Griffy could face
up to 10 years in prison and be fined $250,000 on each of three federal
firearms counts — unlawful sale of a firearm to a prohibited person,
unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and unlawful
possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.
A federal judge accepted guilty pleas from two of the
seven people charged in the death of Terre Haute Officer Brent Long on
pleaded guilty to illegally posessing and illegally selling that gun.
Padgett pleaded guilty to making a
false material statement to police the day they tried to serve the
Griffy told police he brokered a gun deal between
Brad Keller, 48, and Seeley for 3.5 grams of
Deputy Sheriff Kyle David Pagerly
June 29, 2011 -
Albany Township, Pennsylvania
- Age 28
Kyle Pagerly, 28, was shot and killed on 6/29/11 while trying to serve a
warrant in Albany Township in Pennsylvania. The incident started at
approximately 6:30 p.m. when state police, U.S. marshals and Berks
County sheriff's deputies serving as marshals went to the Pine Swamp
Road address to arrest Matthew Connor on charges of burglary, criminal
trespass, violations related to the sale of firearms, terroristic
threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person. The
charges were related to an incident two days earlier at two homes in the
first block on Pine Swamp Road for
threatening his father, his sister, girlfriend and a family friend
visiting the home by firing several rounds from two different handguns
into the ground in front of them and telling them "yeah you better
run,". Two days before the shootout, Connor had said he wouldn't go
down quietly. At one point, Connor put a revolver to his mouth acting as
if he was going to shoot himself in front of his family. Upset that he
ran out of ammunition from a revolver and a handgun, Connor went back
into the family's house and retrieved a bulletproof vest and a shotgun,
which he fired several times before heading into the woods. He has
threatened in the past to want to provoke the police so they would shoot
him, suicide by cop. Connor's
father, Maurice, is a retired
N.J., police officer. Matthew Connor ran out of the back of the
house and into the woods while his girlfriend was talking to police.
With authorities following him into the woods. As Canine Deputy, Kyle Pagerly, a Berks County sheriff's K-9
member moved up over a rise in the terrain, Connor rose up in complete
including his face had a camouflage mask, his hands in camouflage
gloves, and he was armed with two guns, two knives, and large capacity
magazines with an
AK-47. Authorities told him to drop the weapon and when he didn't,
gunfire was exchanged killing Connor and mortally wounding Pagerly.
After Pagerly was shot, Jynx grabbed his partner's
pants leg and tried to pull him to safety.
Deputy Kyle Pagerly, who was
wearing a vest was shot several times with at least one bullet the
penetrated the vest, was
pronounced dead at 8:44 p.m. at Lehigh Valley Hospital after being
airlifted to the Salisbury Township facility. Matthew Connor, 25, of the
first block of Pine Swamp Road, was killed at the scene.
After the shooting Matthew Connor's father gave police a suicide note
left by his son. Pagerly served in the Army in Kosovo (2002) and Iraq (2003 and 2004). He
was a military police officer. He joined the sheriff's department in
2006, according to the website. The K-9 Corps was formed in 2008. He
also was a lieutenant in the Spring Township Fire Department. His K9
German Shepherd partner “Jynx” was not injured.
Pagerly's badge number, 27,
was permanently retired and K9 Jynx was retired from the force
officially on 7/28/11 and
given to the family. Jynx retired from the force with
full benefits. His medical care, grooming, boarding and food have all
been donated for the rest of his life.In the days
after Pagerly's death, Jynx would upend the clothes hamper, root out his
T-shirts and sleep with them.
Thousands attended Pagerly's funeral.
Hundreds of K9
officers and their dogs also gathered for the service. Pagerly's
K9 Jynx, sat with the fallen deputy's family in the front row at the
Sovereign Center for the service.
K9 Jynx was presented with the Berks
County Sheriff Department's Medal of Honor for his lifesaving efforts on
the night of the shooting. The Berks County Sheriff's Department honor
guard conducted a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps. Approximately
three thousand people attended Pagerly's service.Kyle
Pagerly is survived by his
Anne (Bird), whom he married December 12, 2007.
who is three months pregnant.
Contributions may be made to the Kyle Pagerly
or the Berks County Sheriff's Department Honor Guard Fund., Attn: Sheriff's Dept, 633 Court St., Reading, PA 19601.
Sgt. Brett Patrick Benton
June 4, 2011 -
Laghman Province, Afghanistan
- Age 37
Sgt Brett Benton
was killed on 6/4/11
near Alingar District, Laghman Province,
Afghanistan. He was working with DynCorp Technical Services, a defense
contractor, and had only been in Afghanistan for three weeks when a improvised explosive device detonated
near his vehicle killing him. He went to Afghanistan to train
Afghan police officers. Brett Benton had served with Kenton
County Police Department for 10 years
and had started their K9 program. Sgt.
Brett Benton after graduating from high school, went
to the National Guard, and then while he was still in the Guard
worked at the state police post in Richmond as a dispatcher and
for the Nicholasville Police Department, and then he went on
to the Kenton
County Police Department.
His K9 partner was "Tommy". He is survived by his wife of nine years, Bethany
Foster Benton. Donations
are suggested to the Kentucky Fallen Officers Trust at www.klemf.org or
Kentucky Special Olympics Torch Run at www.kytorchrun.org.
Officer Jefferson "Jeff" Patrick Gerald Taylor
June 3, 2011 -
Kansas City, Missouri
- Age 31
Officer Jefferson “Jeff” Taylor, 31, was
struck by lightning on 5/23/11, while helping people from the Joplin
tornado disaster. Jeff and another
Officer were returning to their base camp on their ATVs when lightning
struck the ground between two Officers, rendering them both injured,
though the second officer was able to return to work. Shortly after,
emergency workers on scene were able to perform successful CPR efforts.
Officer Taylor died at St. John’s
Hospital on 6/3/11
at 9:25 a.m.
He had undergone successful skin graft
surgery and was being treated for other complications related to
injuries he suffered in that incident when he died. Taylor is the first
officer in the history of Riverside Police Department to die in the line
of duty. He began his law enforcement career in
Webb City, then served on Platte County Sheriff Department, before his
current post with Riverside Department of Public Safety.
He joined the Riverside Police Department in 2005 and was named Officer
of the Year in 2008. While departing this world he was still able to
save five more people. His liver and kidneys are being donated to those
waiting and three more lives will be spared due to Jeff's generosity.
Approximately 1,000 people attended his funeral. Survivors include his
wife, Kelly and sons, Caden , Cameron and his K9 "Flash". An account has been established
in honor of Officer Taylor to assist his family with expenses: Taylor Benefit Account, K.C. Police
Credit Union, 2800 East 14th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127. Sgt.
Aaron J. Blasjo
May 29, 2011 -
Wardak Province, Afghanistan
- Age 25
Army Sgt. Aaron J. Blasjo, 25, of Riverside, Calif., and
his Military Working Dog, Hunter, assigned to the 3rd Special Forces
Group, Fort Bragg, N.C.; both died May 29 in Wardak province,
Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit
with an improvised explosive device while on patrol in a Humvee. There
were also two other Green Berets in the vehicle that were killed along with Sgt. Blasjo, Captain Joseph Schultz,36, of Port Angeles, Washington and Sgt.
Martin R. Apolinar, 28, of Glendale, Arizona . Sgt. Blasjo
entered the Army in July 2004
and was selected for the elite Green Berets after extensive testing and
training in 2006 . After completing basic training and Airborne School
at Fort Benning, Ga., Blasjo was assigned to 1st Special Warfare
Training Group (Airborne) where he completed the Special Forces
Qualification Course in December 2006 as a Special Forces communications
sergeant. Upon completion of SFQC, he was assigned to Group Support
Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), headquartered at Fort
Bragg, N.C. Blasjo had deployed three times to Afghanistan in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom. His military education includes: Basic
Infantry Course, Warrior Leader's Course, Advance Leader's Course, Basic
Airborne Course, Advanced Pistol Marksmanship, SOC AM General Driving
Course, Special Forces Qualification's Course, Special Forces
Communication Sergeant's Course, and Survival Evasion Resistance and
Escape Course. Blasjo's military awards and decorations include the
Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart; Army Commendation Medal; Army Good
Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign
Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO
Medal; Special Forces Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Parachutists Badge.
He was laid to rest in North Carolina at Riverside National Cemetery. He
is survived by wife Crystal, and son Talon, eight weeks old. On May 1,
2011, Aaron Blasjo left
for a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan when his son Talon was only 5
Peter J. Clore
May 28, 2011 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 23
Corporal Peter J. Clore, 23, of New Philadelphia, Ohio,
was killed by enemy small arms
fire on May 28 while serving in Afghanistan. He was a certified
Explosives Detector Dog Handler, a position that put him ahead of his
unit as they made their patrol. Clore and his Military
Working Dog, Duke, were leading a unit in seeking out improvised explosive
devices when he was shot by small-arms fire. His Military Working Dog,
Duke, survived. He enlisting in
the U.S. Marine Corps in 2008. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 2nd
Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force,
Camp Lejeune, N.C. His first deployment came in 2009 as part of the 22nd
Military Expedition Unit, Detachment A. In January, 2010, Peter was
deployed to Haiti to assist in providing earthquake relief. Later in the
year, he became a certified dog handler for the Marine Corps, preparing
for the deployment to Afghanistan in March of 2011. Memorial
contributions be made to the Peter Clore Memorial Fund in care of Sacred
Heart Catholic Church, 139 Third Street NE, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
Trooper Shaft Sidney Hunter
May 21, 2011 - Maryland - Age 39
Maryland State Trooper,
Shaft S. Hunter, 39, died in the line of duty when his police car
slammed into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 95 at 2:40 a.m. while
pursuing a speeding motorcyclist. The patrol car hit the rear of the
tractor trailer and then traveled down the side of the trailer, coming
to rest near the front of the trailer. The accident happened on I-95
South near the entrance of a rest stop south of route 32 in Howard
County. Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver,
Albert Sandino, 46, of California was not injured in the crash. He had
been parked for about 15 minutes as he checked for directions. Sandino
was pulling a trailer of household bleach from Aberdeen, Md., to
Virginia. The motorcyclist, who was described as wearing a white helmet,
has not been located. Hunter was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the
crash. Hunter joined the state police 11 years ago, after a stint with
the Marines. The state police recruited him out of the Marine Corps. He
was elected president of the 114th Trooper Candidate Class and spoke at
his academy class graduation in June 2000.
He went on to become Trooper of the Year, and worked with a task force
that played a key role in catching the D.C. snipers. Hunter did moonlighting as a
security guard at restaurants, stores and movie theaters to provide for
his six children. Hunter was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and
graduated from St. Joseph's in 1990. Hunter, then a starting defensive
back and running back, on Cadets teams that won back-to-back state
titles in 1989 and `90, when he was a junior and senior. He held a
bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from St. Augustine
College in Raleigh, North Carolina. After college, he joined the United
States Marine Corps, where he served from 1994 to 2000. He was honorably
discharged from the Marine Corps with the rank of captain.. When his
police dog, Bear, was recently retired from the force and Hunter took it
home to live with his family. Hunter’s casket was carried to its final
resting place by U.S. Marines. A traditional police burial was held for
Trooper Hunter which included bagpipe players, a gun salute and an honor
guard presentation at the Fallen Heroes Memorial section of the Timonium
German Sheppard, Bear, was brought to the funeral as well. Bear, 8,
retired from police duty in 2009. His children were ages 4 to 19. All
donations will be used to provide for the education of Hunter's six
children. To donate to The Hunter Children's Scholarship Fund
donations can be sent to any M&T Bank branch in Maryland or can be
mailed to M&T Bank, 207 Bowie Road, MD 20707.
Capt. John Albert Struk
April 19, 2011 - Warren, Maine - Age 67
John Albert “Cal” Struk, Maine State Prison-retired, 67, died April 19,
2011, at his home following an extended illness, his loving family. For
more than 23 years, he served as a corrections officer at Maine State
Prison, retiring as a captain in 2003. He was a founding member and team
leader for the MSP K9 Unit. While serving that unit his most special dog
was his partner, Mac, a bloodhound who specialized in mantracking/search
and rescue. He served several years with the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He
is survived by his wife, Joy Ellen Mansfield Struk and three daughters,
Jennifer S. Struk, Teresa M. Fish, and Karen E. Struk. Honors were
rendered by the Maine State Prison Honor Guard. Memorial donations may
be made to the American Cancer Society, New England Division Inc., 1
Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086; or the Humane Society
of Knox County, P.O. Box 1294, Rockland, ME 04841.
Sgt. Ian Jones
March 2, 2011 - West Mercia, England - Age 53
Sergeant Ian Jones, 53, a member of West Mercia Police’s
Dog Section, died suddenly from heart problems on March 2, 2011.
had been a member of the force for 25 years.
He is survived by his wife Carol and five children, Sam,
Mark, Hannah, Jodie and Zoe.
Sgt Jones’ two police dogs –
Dig, a general purpose dog who retired years ago but stayed with the
family and Bertie, a drug dog who he helped train from a puppy – were at
Corporal Liam Richard Tasker
March 1, 2011 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 26
Lance Corporal Liam
Tasker, 26, from Kirkcaldy in Scotland, was killed in the Afghanistan
War by a snipers bullet in Helmand Province on 3/1/11 and his springer
spaniel Theo died a few hours afterwards from a seizure, some say from a
broken heart. The inseparable
pair worked together searching for hidden bombs and weapons. L/Cpl Tasker, of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment, was on patrol with
Theo when he was engaged in a fire fight and was struck and killed
instantly. He joined the army in 2001
and was originally a vehicle
mechanic in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
transferred to follow his passion for dogs in the Royal Army Vetinary
Corps in 2007 where he became a star trainer.
In 2010, he was posted to
104 Military Working Dog Squadron, St Georges Barracks, North Luffenham,
Rutland, part of the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment. He deployed to
Afghanistan on September 8, 2010
as an Arms and
Explosives Search dog handler
and was attached to 1st Battalion Irish
Guards on 19 February 2011.
Lance Corporal Tasker and K9 Theo had been in
Afghanistan for almost six months, uncovering roadside bombs and weapons
in a dusty, dangerous daily routine. He and his dog had more
operational finds than any individual team has had in Afghanistan to
date and he saved many lives as a result of this. Twenty two-month-old
Theo had discovered a record-breaking 14 secret caches in five months.
The ministry said then that Theo had been so successful, finding 14
hidden bombs and weapons caches, that his tour of duty had been extended
by a month. During the funeral route
the mourners threw red, yellow and white roses onto the roof of the
hearse which contained the coffin draped in a Union Jack. Many, from
across the country, took along their dogs and lined the streets to pay
their special respects to the army handler. The ashes of his Springer
spaniel had been returned to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on the same flight
from Afghanistan. Theo's ashes were not included in the cortege. A dozen
dog handlers from police and prison forces around the country were among
the crowds who also lined the streets. Theo's ashes are to be presented
to L/Cpl Tasker's family at a later date during a private ceremony. Theo
was the sixth British military dog killed in Iraq or Afghanistan since
Theo was awarded the
Medal known as the animals' Victoria Cross, at Wellington Barracks,
London. The award is the highest accolade any animal can receive in
recognition of devotion to duty in saving human life while serving in
military conflict. It was established by the veterinary charity's
founder, Maria Dickin, in 1943.
L/Cpl Tasker’s father
mentioned that his son Liam had been due to leave Afghanistan soon and
was worried about being separated from K9 Theo but said now he doesn’t
have to worry about that anymore, they will always be together. L/Cpl.
Tasker is survived by his his mother Jane Duffy, his father Ian Tasker,
his brother Ian, and his two sisters Laura and Nicola and his
fiancee Leah Walters, age 33.
Cpl. Joseph "Marc" Matthews
February 16, 2011 - Hinesville, Georgia - Age 50
Joseph "Marc" Matthews, 50, of Hinesville passed away on Feb. 16, 2011,
at Candler Hospital after a short illness. After graduation, he joined
the United States
where he would serve 21 years as a military police officer. Marc was a
kennel master and K-9 handler. After his retirement in 1999, he worked
for the U.S. Marshal Services at the federal courthouse in Savannah
before joining the Hinesville Police Department in 2001. During his time
of employment with the Hinesville Police Department he also worked as an
officer, was promoted to the rank of corporal and was a K-9 handler. He
is survived by his wife of 25 years, Mi Suk Matthews, daughter, Ashley
Matthews, son William Matthews and his faithful K-9 partner, Brad.
Remembrances may be made to Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758
Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA. 31313 or First United Methodist Church of
Hinesville, 203 N. Main St., Hinesville, GA 31313.
Col. Greg Guy
February 2, 2011 - Bonifay, Florida - Age 44
Col. Greg Malloy, 44, of
DeFuniak Springs, a Florida
corrections officer, was shot and killed on 2/2/11 while assisting in a
manhunt. Malloy was working as part of the Holmes Correctional
Institution's K-9 tracking team, which was assisting the Holmes County
Sheriff's Office in the search for Wade Andrew Williams, an ex convict.
Williams, 35, was wanted in the double homicide of his parents, Bruce
and Sharon Williams in their
Cottondale home in
parents were killed on 1/26/11. A warrant had also been issued for Wade
Williams for his arrest on a charge of grand theft auto.
Williams then fled to the Choctawhatchee River Management Area where he
burned his father’s truck. Williams subsequently camped in the
management area evading arrest until confronted by a hunter, Thomas
approximately 8:00 a.m. when he came upon Wade Williams
laying out some laundry
at a camp site.
encountered a man meeting Williams’ description and started talking to
him. Wade Williams said he was going to kill him and fired eight shots
from a .22-caliber rifle
Thomas Crews direction and Thomas Crews took cover behind a tree and
returned on shot from his .30-06 rifle but missed. Wade Williams than ran off into the woods. Thomas
Crews suffered a minor chest wound from shrapnel.
Crews then called 911 and notified police of the incident and about
20 minutes later approximately 40
officers and a helicopter were searching for Wade Williams in the wooded
area with a
nearly impassable swamp near
Thomas Crews helped police in a search for Williams because he was
familiar with the area. After
approximately one hour the tracking team encountered gun fire and Col.
Greg Malloy and
Wade Williams were both shot
during the exchange of gunfire.Wade Williams
was killed and Malloy was loaded on to a boat, then transported to a
landing where a medical helicopter was waiting.
Malloy, was airlifted to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, where he
later died. A second
K9 officer, Arthur Teal, was also wounded by a bullet that grazed
him and was taken by ambulance for treatment. The hunt for
Wade Williams had taken searchers to Alabama and Georgia, and multiple
agencies were involved in the manhunt. Malloy started working
Holmes County Correctional Institution in Bonifay
for the Florida Department
of Corrections in 1988 when he was 22 years old. He spent 19 years in
Oka-loosa County. He also worked for the Washington Correctional
Institution, now called the Northwest Florida Reception Center, and the
To-moka Correctional Institution in Volusia County. He was promoted to
colonel, the highest corrections officer designation, in Holmes County
on July 23, 2010. Approximately fifteen hundred people attended the
funeral and at the grave site bagpipes were played and a 21 gun salute
was given. Col. Malloy leaves behind his wife Donna Sue Malloy and a
12 year old daughter, Payton Sue Malloy. Holmes Correctional Institute
has set up a memorial fund for Colonel Malloy’s daughter and memorials
may be made in Colonel Malloy’s memory to Holmes Correctional Institute,
3142 Thomas Drive, Bonifay, Florida 32425.
Wade Andrew Williams, who was
shot and killed on 2/2/11, previously had a record and
had been released
from the Tallahassee Work Release Center in August 2009. He was
sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of several
burglary and grand theft charges in 2005 and 2006.
PC John Burke
January 27, 2011 - East Lothian, Scotland - Age 41Police
Constable John Burke, 41, from Musselburgh, East Lothian, was found
dead on 1/28/11 by a person taking a walk. He had served with
Lothian and Borders Police force for 22 years. PC Burke was found in
the Cowpits area of Musselburgh - a quiet part of the town which is
surrounded by fields. John Burke received a posthumous
bravery award in March of 2011 for an incident that happened in 2010
and will also receive a long service and good
conduct medal at the ceremony in Edinburgh. An investigation is on going
under the mysterious circumstances of his death. He leaves two
children, ages 12 and 16.Officer
Jeffrey Adam Yaslowitz
January 24, 2011 - St. Petersburg, Florida - Age 39
Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz 39, was shot and killed on 1/24/11 in St.
Petersburg, Florida. Officer Yaslowitz, who was going in on a shift he
normally does not work, filling in for an
injured officer who had broken his finger, had just started his shift and volunteered to assist at the scene where a warrant was
being served on fugitive Hydra Lacy Jr., 39, at 6:58 a.m. on an
aggravated battery charge.
When the officers arrived at the house Christine Lacy told the officers that
Lacy was in the attic and might have a gun.
They had been looking for Lacy for weeks and
had been to the house before on 3700 block of 28th Avenue South in St. Petersburg
and immediately called for back up at 7:07 a.m. Also there to serve the warrant was
Tom Baitinger, 48, a fouteen year veteran,
who had been working with St.
Petersburg police since 1996.
After attempting to talk the man out of the attic Officer Yaslowitz and
Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley made entry into the attic.
At 7:29 a.m., the first gunshots rang out
and were immediately shot. Officer Yaslowitz
had left his K9 partner "Ace"
in his SUV. Another officer was able to pull the deputy
marshal from the attic but was unable to reach Officer Yaslowitz. The
suspect then fired from the attic, striking Sergeant Baitinger who
providing cover from the main level.
Tom Baitinger was shot and killed in the house along with
Deputy U.S. Marshal Scott Ley,
twenty one year veteran, was shot twice and survived. One bullet was
stopped by Ley's vest but a second bullet struck penetrating
his lower abdomen. A standoff lasted
for hours and a gun firefight which resulted in over two hundred shots
being fired. After the gunfight, authorities had tried to force the
gunman out with tear gas at 8:57 a.m. and by cutting off the home's electricity and water. Earlier,
police used a vehicle to punch a hole in the wall to get to one of the
officers who later died. The home is situated in a middle-class
neighborhood on the south side of St. Petersburg and was destroyed
in the shooting incident. A Department of Homeland Security armored tactical
vehicle parked nearby, and a police tank was also trained on the
home. Dr Steven Epstein was at the scene and immediately
attended to Officer Yaslowitz and accompanied him to the
hospital in the ambulance at 9:25 a.m.Officer Yaslowitz and Sergeant
Baitinger were both transported to Bayfront Medical Center where
they were pronounced dead.
Autopsy reports show Officer Yaslowitz was shot twice in
the head with a 9MM Taurus belonging to Lacy. Baitinger
was shot in his chest just above his vest traveling
downwards into his torso and also a wound to his lower right back where
the bullet struck his protective vest. Baitinger was shot with a 4O/10MM
having been fired from Officer Yaslowitz's .40 caliber Glock.
Lacy was found dead in the home hours after the shoot out at about 2:00
p.m. amid the rubble of the home where he made his last stand. Lacy, the suspect was shot in the left
chest, right leg, right buttocks, hip, right middle finger and three
times to his arm / forearm. It is estimated lacy fired approximately 29
rounds before he died. Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz, 39, began his law
enforcement career with the St. Petersburg Police Department on April
19, 1999. Yaslowitz was one of 12 K9 officers on the St. Petersburg
Police force. He had previously graduated from St. Petersburg Police
Canine Academy with his K9 dog Shadow and worked with his canine partner
"Ace" for the last two years who was then given to the
Yaslowitz family. At the church service
"Amazing Grace" , "My Chains Are Gone"
and "There Will Be A Day" were sung. Yaslowitz's and
Baitinger's police vehicles were parked hood to hood, wreathes on each.
Officer Yaslowitz's K9 Ace attended the service.
At the funeral a
bugler played taps,
bag pipes played
Amazing Grace, there was an honor guard and a color guard,
twenty-eight horses and riders line up outside the church,
including two riderless horses with empty saddles,
21 gun salute, white doves were released, and seven
helicopters flew overhead in a V-shape. The U.S. Coast Guard helicopter
trailed off, symbolizing the lost officers.
10,000 people were on hand to pay
at his funeral. Officer Yaslowitz is survived by his wife of seventeen
years, Lorraine, son
Caleb, 12; daughter Haylie, 8; and son Calen, 5; and K-9 partner "Ace".
Anyone wishing to donate funds to the two families can send
contributions to: Suncoast Law Enforcement
Charities, Inc. 14141 46th Street North, Suite 1205 Clearwater, Florida
Hydra Lacy had a long record that includes
convictions for armed robbery and sexual battery. At age
17, Hydra Lacy Jr. was sentenced to four years for grand theft auto,
attempted murder, aggravated assault and resisting arrest with violence.
He served two years. Seven months after his release, he was arrested for
kidnapping, aggravated child abuse, sexual battery with a weapon or
force and battery on a law enforcement officer. A 16-year-old High
School student told police she and Hydra Lacy dated briefly in 1991, but
she broke it off. A few months later, she said, Lacy grabbed her outside
her apartment one night, forced her into his car, then hit and raped her
repeatedly. That earned him a 15-year prison sentence. He was released
in 2001 after serving nine. He was listed as a sex
offender with the state and had failed to register in December of 2010 with the
Pinellas County Sheriff's Department as required. Deputies had been
looking for him since then, and the sheriff's and police departments had
issued bulletins on 1/21/11 for authorities to be on the lookout for
He was convicted of a car jacking in Jefferson County
near Tallahassee when he was just 17 years old. He did time in 1990's
after being convicted of aggravated assault, grand theft and resisting
arrest with violence in Pinellas county just after his 18th birthday.
Lacy was sent back to state prison less than seven months after he got
out, and this time he'd spend nine years in prison before being released
. In 1992 he was convicted of sexual battery, false imprisonment of a
child under 13 and again violence against law enforcement . He was
granted a conditional release from state prison March 4, 2001. According
to the Florida Department of Corrections, he violated the terms of his
conditional release and returned to prison May 29, 2008. But the Parole
Commission released him less than a week later. His conditional release
supervision ended in November of 2008. In June 2009, he was back in
court in Pinellas County and charged with
aggravated domestic battery for beating his wife Christine
Lacy, and false imprisonment.
He admitted attacking his wife with two swords. Her injuries included
being stabbed in the face and leg, a broken nose, two black eyes, cuts
and bruises on the back of her head. He broke several liquor
bottles over the victim's head and was out of work for about six weeks.
Lacy was ordered to have no contact with his
wife, but he ignored the order and called his wife from jail at least 15
times. He bonded out of jail but skipped a court date on November 1,
2010. The court sent an
electronic warrant for his arrest to the sheriff the next day, court
records show. Given his record, a conviction could have sent him back to
prison. Hydra Lacy's
brother, Jeff Lacy, is a professional boxing champion.
January 12, 2011 - Kandahar Province, Afghanistan - Age 28
Zainah Caye Creamer, 28, of
Arkansas was killed on 1/12/11 at approximately 0500 hours while serving in
Sgt. Creamer is
the first female
war-dog handler that has been killed in action in any U.S. war. She suffered wounds when insurgents attacked her unit with an
improvised explosive device.
Creamer and the dog were doing their job, carrying out "a route and
building clearance mission" when the blast occurred.
Creamer, who was single, was assigned to the 212th Military
at Fort Belvoir. Sgt.
had been in the
for six years and three months and had been assigned to the 212th
since October of 2009. This was her third deployment and her first
as a Military Working Dog handler. Creamer and her canine
on Oct. 26, 2010. They were attached to the 2nd Battalion,
502nd Infantry Regiment
when the incident occurred. K9
was not injured in the attack and the family of Sgt. Creamer plan to
adopt K9 Jofa.
Sgt. Creamer received
several awards and decorations during her 6-years of service. These
include the Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, the
Afghanistan Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, the Global War
on Terrorism Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Expert Rifle Badge,
the Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal.
At the memorial ceremony, the US government conferred on
Creamer the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the NATO
Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal. Sgt. Zainah Creamer was
buried in the Philippines where her mother lives on 2/4/11.
Cpl. William “Billy” H. Crouse IV
December 21, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 22
Cpl. William “Billy” H. Crouse IV, 22, and his K-9 officer, Cane, were
killed on 12/21/10 in Afghanistan. Crouse, and his K9 partner "Cane" were killed by an
improvised explosive device while on patrol. At
the scene of the blast Crouse was conscious enough to ask for his bomb
dog, Cane, to be transported with him on the helicopter but they
could not save K9 Cane. Crouse died at a hospital from cardiac arrest
after being taken there from the field.
It was Crouse's first tour of duty; he
had been in Afghanistan for only six weeks when the blast occurred, and
it was Cane's third tour of duty. The two were in Helmand province and
assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II
Marine Expeditionary Force based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
He joined the Marine Corps
in November 2007 and was promoted to lance corporal August 1, 2008.
He was born in
and later moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and then to Clinton, South
Carolina, in the mid 1990's with his family.
He earned the Marine Corps
Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign
Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and was posthumously
awarded a purple heart for his service. His funeral was
held on 12/29/10 with a burial in Covington Memorial Gardens with full
military honors rendered by the U.S. Marine Corps.
may be made to: the Arthritis Foundation,
Fairview Missionary Church, Stroh Church of Christ, the Wounded Warrior
Project or the Save the Children Organization.
Chief Tommy Taylor Summerville
December 9, 2010 - Eutaw, Alabama - Age 56
Chief Tommy Summerville, 56, died from complications during heart
surgery on 12/9/10 at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. He had been
on the force for the past 33 years. He
joined the Eutaw Police Force in 1977. He was certified as an NRA Police
Firearms Instructor, and he was chosen as an "Outstanding Young Man of
America" in 1986. In March 1998, Tommy was named Assistant Chief of
Police. In March 2000, he was certified by the Alabama Canine Law
Enforcement Training Center and became the narcotics dog handler. In
September 2007, Tommy became the Chief of Police. He was the department's first
K-9 officer and for several years he and his K-9 partner "Rain" visited
many schools and gave demonstrations to the students. He was a dog
handler before he made chief and kept on as a dog handler because that
is what he loved doing. He is
survived by his wife, Gloria Leavelle Summerville and his
son, James Lowery Summerville.
The family requests that donations be made to the city of Eutaw
earmarked to purchase a new narcotics dog.
Colton Wesley Rusk
December 6, 2010 -
Helmand province, Afghanistan
- Age 20Pfc.
Colton W. Rusk, 20, of Orange Grove, Texas, died Dec. 6 while
conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He
was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine
Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. He
was fatally shot while searching with his K9 Eli, a black Labrador
retriever, along with six other Marines in the attack. He enlisted
in the United States Marine Corps on November 2, 2009 and was
serving his first combat deployment where he was serving as a K-9
handler. He was chosen to be sent to South Carolina to American K-9
Interdiction to train for Improvised Explosive Device Detector dog
handler. Certified on 6-18-10. It was here that he and Eli became
a team. He along with Eli left for Afghanistan on his 20th
birthday 9-23-10. His awards include, the Purple Heart, Combat
Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on
Terrorism Service Medal and Afghanistan Campaign Medal. Pfc. Colton
Rusk was buried on 12/18/10 at Orange Grove Cemetery in Texas where
approximately one thousand mourners paid their respects. In lieu of
flowers the family has requested donation be made to the Colton
Rusk Memorial, C/O Value Bank Texas, P.O. Box 4956, Corpus Christi,
In an unofficial
ceremony in February of 2011 at Lackland Air Force Base, Eli was
adopted to the Rusk family in Orange Grove, Texas, to live out his
life in peace.
Sgt. Roderick Dalton
November 16, 2010 - Syracuse, New York - Age 45
Roderick Dalton, 45, died unexpectedly at Community General Hospital on
11/16/10 after a short illness. was one of the commanding officers of
the department's K-9 Unit. Sgt Dalton served the Syracuse Police
Department for the last 22 years. He leaves behind his K9 partner Niko.
Memorial contributions in memory of Rod may be made to Syracuse Police
department P.B.A., 511 S. State Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.
Sgt. John Jeffrey Gates
October 10, 2010 - Cicero, New York - Age 64
Sgt. John Jeffrey Gates, 64, of Cicero, NY, died at
home on 10/10/10. He was recognized as one of
the state's founding fathers of modern police dog training. He was
renowned for helping the state develop its canine training and
certification and also for helping to create the canine units for the
Syracuse police and other agencies. In the early 1980s, Gates became
handler for Central New York's first police dog, Shamus, Gates trained
more than 200 dogs in his career and traveled to Europe to study the
dogs in their natural environment. He also helped train police dogs in
the Czech Republic and Israel, as well as across the United States. Dogs
that Gates trained assisted in the seizure of millions of dollars in
drug money and the arrest of hundreds of criminals. Sgt. Jeff Gates, is
32-year member of the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and retired from
there in 2006.
an Air Force veteran, serving during the Vietnam War.
Gates' ashes was spread along the canine training course in
Camillus, and the dogs and their handlers passed by to offer tribute.
Sgt. John Gates is survived by his wife, Donna (Sobello) Gates; two
sons, Christopher (Toni) Gates and Matthew (Jeanna).
Staff Sgt. Brian Michael
September 18, 2010 - California City, California - Age 29
Staff Sgt. Brian Michael
Carragher, 29, was shot to death with a 9mm semi-automatic on 9/18/10 shortly after 5:30 p.m. in
front of his California City home in the 8900 block of Walpole Avenue as
he tried to tell a man to leave his home. Carragher was found bleeding severely in the street
and was airlifted to Antelope Valley Hospital and pronounced dead there
about an hour later. Carragher was shot at five times and struck four
times. Staff Sgt. Brian Carragher was shot three times in the back
and once in the back of his upper right arm.
The suspect, 26-year-old
Timothy Aaron Atkins had pulled a gun from his pickup truck, shot Carragher and then fled the scene. Officers later found his vehicle
in the 20300 block of 87th Street and arrested him without incident.
Atkins ex-girlfriend, Brooke Youngo, was renting space in Carragher's
home along with her new boyfriend, Matthew Pearman.
Pearman was a security
officer at Edwards Air Force Base. Atkins drove over to the home to
speak with Youngo and he brought a gun with him in case he wanted to
shoot Pearman. Carragher was at a local motorcycle shop with his
girlfriend, MIchelle Jones, at the time Atkins came to his home. Pearman
answered the door and told Atkins he could talk with Youngo, but he had
to go across the street to do so. Atkins and Youngo went near Atkins'
pickup and talked. Pearman went to the motorcycle shop to tell Carragher
what was going on. Carragher returned home and began talking to Atkins,
telling him to leave. That's when Atkins reached in the truck and fired
at Carragher. He joined the Air Force in 2003 to become a K-9
Carragher was a military working dog handler assigned to
the 95th Security Forces Squadron and stationed at Edwards Air Force Base
and had just returned home from his second tour in Iraq on August 1,
Atkins also recently returned to California City after serving two tours in
the Army in Iraq. Carragher and his
wife, Jackie, bought the home on Walpole Drive around October 2009.
Brian Carragher had filed for divorce on 9/16/10.
He is survived by his
wife of six years, Jackie, and twin four-year-old daughters Maddison and
Hayley. He is also survived by his military working dog, Eddy.
"Because of his age, Eddy was soon to
be retired and Sgt Carragher was going to adopt him. Donations can be
made out for his daughters' college fund. Send Donations made out to
Hayley and Maddison Carragher at Summit National Bank, P.O. BOX 395,
Baggs, WY 82321.
Atkins was arrested on 9/18/10 and held without bail and charged with 1st
degree murder. Atkins made his first court appearance on 9/21/10 for
for the shooting death of Air Force Staff Sergeant Brian Carragher and
was delayed until 9/29/10 and ordered held in jail on $1.5 million bail.
On his court appearance on 9/29/10 Atkins pleaded not guilty and being
represented by attorney Richard Terry . Further hearings were set Nov.
22 & 23, 2010. with Atkins remaining in custody in lieu of posting $1.5
In March of 2012, Atkins
pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, and a first-degree murder
charge was dismissed. Atkins got credit for 679 days - 591 days for time
served and 88 days for good behavior - as part of his six year sentence.
Sgt. Thomas Moore "T.A." Alexander
September 11, 2010 - Rayville, Louisiana - Age 57
Sergeant Thomas Alexander
was shot and killed on 9/11/10 while responding to a burglary in
progress in Richland Parish. A woman had called 911 at 9:04 p.m. to
report the sound of breaking glass. Sergeant Alexander, who was the
closest officer to the location, despite the call coming from
outside of the city limit responded at 9:15 p.m. Sergeant Alexander was the first officer to
arrive at the scene and checked on the victim and entered the building
without backup. Three suspects were
hidden inside and ambushed Sergeant Alexander and opened fire as he conducted the search and approached
a closet. Sgt. Alexander was shot numerous times and pronounced dead at
the scene. Responding deputies heard the shots as they arrived on the
scene and took one of the suspects, Robert J. Walker, who was hiding
under a bed, into custody
inside the home. The two other suspects, Anthony D. Oatis was arrested
two hours later in Richland Parish and Richard L. Long was arrested
the next day in Monroe were apprehended a short time later. He received
many commendations and certificates of appreciation for his outstanding
and dedicated service. Sergeant Alexander had served with the Rayville
Police Department for 13 years and had previously served with the
Richland Parish Sheriff's Office for seven years. He is survived by his
wife Mary Louise Alexander, and four daughters, Deborah Jackson (Willie), TaShekia V. Alexander, Amelia Alexander, and LaDeanna Davis along with
his K9 partner "Stef".
Cherdale Alexander, preceded him in death. Over one thousand people
Sergeant Thomas Alexander's funeral.
Robert J. Walker, 52, of Rayville and
Anthony D. Oatis, 30, and Richard L. Long, 33, both of Monroe, were arrested and
indicted on first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree
murder charges and conspiracy to commit
aggravated burglary, and aggravated burglary
on 9/13/10 and are currently being held
without bond. All three had previous records,
Long has been arrested several times in Ouachita Parish
on charges ranging from forgery to second-degree battery. Oatis has been
arrested in Ouachita Parish on similar criminal charges as Walker and
Long. On 10/20/10 Anthony
D. Oatis entered his plea of not guilty. On 6/15/11 Robert Walker pled
guilty in Fifth District Court to Second Degree Murder on the condition
to cooperate in the prosecution of the pending cases against the alleged
shooter Richard Long and co-defendant Anthony Oatis. Second Degree
Murder carries life imprisonment without parole, probation or suspension
of sentence. Bond was set for all
three and are being held
on $1.25 million bond.
Sgt. Brigham Scott Strole
September 1, 2010 - Lakeville, Minnesota - Age 46
Sgt. Brigham Strole was
killed after being thrown from his motorcycle while off duty at about 9 p.m. on 9/1/10
which happened one block from his home. There were no other vehicles
involved and investigators think he might have hit the curb or a pot
hole in the road. Strole was ejected from the motorcycle and airlifted to Hennepin
County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died. The accident,
which happened on Jordan Court just south of the intersection with
Jonquil Avenue. Strole was not wearing a helmet. He was as a K-9
officer for seven years. He and his canine partner Blue were
considered one of the top teams in the country, at one point ranked
13th nationally. Strole also served as a member of the SWAT team, as
an instructor for firearms and defensive tactics, and as a field
training officer. Sgt. Strole was a 20-year officer of the Lakeville
Police Department and received numerous commendations and awards
during his career.
Strole leaves behind two teenage
Jenna Strole and their mother, Lynn Strole.
Memorials may be sent to
the Sgt. Brigham Strole Memorial Fund, c/o M&I Bank, 17636 Kenwood
Trail, Lakeville, MN 55044.
Maj. Paul A. Egli
August 31, 2010 - Fort Stewart, Georgia - Age
died 8/31/10 in his Fort Stewart, Georgia apartment building
9727, after medical services received a 911 call. Maj. Egli
was to retire in just two weeks
from the U.S. Army. Paul served proudly on
the Franklin TN Police Department for 10 years from 1994-2004 where
he was a K-9 officer with his partner Kahn. Winning awards at the
National level, they were also recognized by the FBI for assisting
in the capture of six escapees from Alabama known at the time as
"The Alabama 6" in 2001. The duo was involved in the apprehension of
several felons. Paul was selected as an assistant professor of
military science in the ROTC Program at the University of Hawaii. Egli was a major with the U.S. Army, and a military police officer.
Egli joined the Army in 1981. He
deployed twice, first in support of Desert Shield/Desert Storm and
most recently to Operation Iraqi Freedom and was last assigned to
Fort Stewart, Ga. Paul was buried with full military honors.
Donations may be made to any of the following charities that meant a
lot to Egli: Seeing Eye Dog Organization; The American Heart
Association; St Jude Children's Hospital.He is survived by his wife, Vicky Egli; children, Jon-Thomas
Egli, Emma Egli, Katie Egli, and Erin Dolezal.
Sgt. James Roger Ide V
August 29, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 32Sgt. James R. Ide V , 32, from DeSoto Missouri, was
killed in Afghanistan on August 29, 2010. He was a canine handler of
a Belgian Malinois bomb-sniffing dog named Daphne and was working
with her at the time of his death when he his unit was attacked by
small-arms fire and shot in the head in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province. Ide was
certified to train the dogs and other dog handlers. Ide joined the
Army after graduating from DeSoto High in 1997. He was
assigned to the 230th Military Police Company, 95th Military Police
Battalion, 18th Military Police Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment
Command, Sembach, Germany. He had previously served a tour of duty
in Korea and two tours in Iraq. Ide's wife, Mandy, and two children,
Trinity, 7, and James VI, 16 months, live in Germany. Memorial
donations may be made to the James R. Ide Living Trust, 2839 Meyer
Road, Festus, MO 63028. Memorials preferred to:
(1.) Eagle Bank, 680
South Mill,Festus, MO 63028 or The James R. Ide V Children's Trust,
2839 Meyer Road, Festus, MO 63028 (2.) Calvary Chapel, C/O Pastor
David Ball, PSC 2 Box R7664, APO, AE 09012. (3.) Arise Medical
Missions, P.O. Box 3331, Lynchburg, VA 24503, www.arise.ms/home.html.
(4.) K-LOVE Christian Radio, P.O. Box 2098, Omaha, NE 68103-2098,
(5.) The Voice of the Martyrs, P.O. Box 443, Bartlesville, OK 74005,
www.persecution.com, (6.) Support Dogs, Inc., 11645 Lilburn
Park Rd, St. Louis, MO 63146, http://supportdogs.org,
Cpl. Max W. Donahue
August 7, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23Cpl Max W.
Aug. 7 of wounds received Aug. 4 in Helmand province,
Afghanistan. He was from Highlands
Ranch, Colo.; assigned to I Marine
Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group,
California. He was a working dog
handler who enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 17, 2006. He
previously served two tours in
Iraq. His Awards and Decorations
include the Purple Heart, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National
Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign, two Iraq Campaign
Medals, the Global War on Terrorisiom Service Medal, NATO ISAF
Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and a Certificate of
Commendation. When Donahue joined he was assigned K9 Fenji. Cpl.
Donahue worked with K9 Fenji none stop before our deployment to make
sure she was ready and he also was partnered with K9 "Paco".
Cpl. Jeffrey R. Standfest
June 16, 2010 - Helmand Province, Afghanistan - Age 23
Jeff Standfest, 23, of China Township in St. Clair,
Michigan, died while
supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan on June
16, 2010.He was killed by an IED.
Jeff Standfest was deployed in April for his
first tour of duty. Standfest, recently returned to duty after
suffering a concussion in an explosion in an incident that killed his
bomb sniffing K9 in May of 2010. He had returned to duty with a new K9
in which he was killed in this incident. Jeff Standfest was a canine
handler and a combat engineer.
assigned to 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III
Marine Expeditionary Force, based at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat
Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
Standfest had been awarded the Purple Heart,
Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan
Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the NATO
Medal. The Corporal had enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2008.
He is the son
of Detective Timothy Standfest, of the Clinton Township police
who is a 25-year law
enforcement veteran specializing in fraud investigations.
June 13, 2010 - Afghanistan - Age 33
Flyveroverkonstabel Martin Kristiansen, 33, was killed on 6/13/10
and four other Danish soldiers with him were wounded when their
M113G3 APC tank was hit by an IED in the region of Forward Patrol
Post Budwan. All the soldiers were immediately evacuated by
helicopter to the field hospital at Camp Bastion. Martin Kristiansen
was declared dead on arrival. Flyveroverkonstabel Martin Kristiansen
of the Royal Danish Air Forcewas posted to Afghanistan as a dog
handler by the Engineers Regiment, based in Skive. His dog Loke was
with him at the time of the attack and was also killed.
June 7, 2010 - Afghanistan - Age 26
Darren Smith, 26, a K-9
handler was killed along with his K9 Herbie,
a 3 1/2 year old Collie Cross,
by a road side bomb in
Afghanistan while on patrol for his country of Australia on June 7, 2010. His friend,
Jacob Moerland, 21, found the explosive device and sounded a warning. He
then called up his friend Darren Smith along with his K9 partner Herbie.
As they approached the device, it detonated. A Taliban insurgent had
detonated the device by remote control. Both
Darren Smith and Jacob Moerland were from the 2nd Combat Engineer
Regiment. This was their first deployment for both soldiers. They were on a
routine foot patrol in the remote Mirabad Valley. It was just before
lunchtime when an improvised explosive device, or IED, detonated. Darren
Smith was killed at the time of the explosion and Jacob Moerland
received emergency first aid from his patrol mates and was subsequently,
aero-medical evacuated to a nearby International Security Assistance
Force hospital. It took just 38 minutes for a US medivac chopper to get
the Moerland to the Dutch-run and Australian-staffed field hospital at
Camp Holland in Tarin Kowt where he died from his
wounds. Smith's military career
commenced as part of the Army Reserve enlisting November 29, 2001
and completing Recruit training in January 2002, serving as part of 3rd
Field Squadron, South Australia. Smith went on to complete his Combat
Engineer suite of courses in 2004 and become part of the Australian
Regular Army where he was posted to 1st Combat Engineer Regiment in Oct
2004. He completed a number of driver courses up to heavy vehicle and
Armored Personnel Carrier. He successfully completed his Explosive
Detection Dog Handler course in December 2006. He completed his Junior Leader
Course in November 2008.
Smith was posted to 2 CER in January 2009. He deployed in March
2010. As part of his tour he has been awarded the Australian Active
Service Medal with Clasp International Campaign against Terrorism, NATO
Service Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. He also has received
his Return from Active Service Badge. Smith has also been awarded
the Australian Defense Medal.
In recognition of the
bond between the pair, Herbie was cremated in Afghanistan and his ashes
returned to Smith's widow, Angela.
Smith leaves behind his wife Angela and a
2-1/2 yr old son - Mason who live in Brisbane, Australia.
Sgt. Gert Johannes Du Toit
June 6, 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa - Age 32
Sergeant Gert Du Toit, 32, an officer of
K9 Unit for the past six years, was
shot and killed on June 6, 2010, while chasing a group of 15 men who
had staged a cash-in-transit heist. The group of robbers - in five
cars - struck the Coin truck and its back-up vehicle between 07:00
and 08:00 on the N1 South between the Maraisburg and Nasrec
off-ramps. The robbers used two vehicles to force the coin vehicle
from the road and then grabbed the bags of cash. One of the cars,
a cream Mercedes bashed into the
Coin security vehicle escorting a cash-in-transit van, while a white
bakkie and silver BMW pelted the van with bullets before it stopped.
The robbers then attacked and shot both coin security guards. The
robbers then deserted the two cars and
fled the scene in two black
Porsche Cayennes to get away. The
police spotted them driving on Old Potchefstroom Road in the
direction of Soweto and took chase. The suspects opened fire on the
police during the chase, hitting Officer Kefwa in the hand. They
then raced to Protea South in Soweto, where a gun battle broke out
and Du Toit was fatally wounded when he was shot on his left side
under his armpit and his body found lying just outside the police
vehicle. Du Toit's wife, Alicia, also a police officer was on duty
at the temporary control room set up at the old Brixton flying
squad's radio room for the purposes of the World Cup. The shooting
took place a short distance from Soccer City. Alicia listened to the
events unfolding on the police radio.
The robbers fled with an undisclosed
amount of cash. Four of the 15 suspects
were arrested at the scene. Eight
firearms, including an AK-47, three R5, two R4 assault rifles used
by SA Police Force members that are used by the defence force were
The police seized three vehicles and
eight firearms, which include an AK-47, R4 and R5 assault rifles and
a pistol. It was found the BMW
was hijacked earlier, the owner made to strip down to his underpants
and told to run away into the bushes.
Some of the suspects are police from the Sharpeville and Sebokeng
police stations and one arrested was a former employee of the Coin
Du Toit is survived
by his wife Alicia and their six- year-old stepdaughter Caitlan.
Officer Bill Evans
May 20, 2010 - West Memphis, Arkansas - Age 38
Officer Bill Evans, 38,
was shot and killed on May 20, 2010 in West Memphis, Arkansas during a
traffic stop while "running drug interdiction" on Interstate 40. The
events started when Evans stopped a white 1994 Plymouth Voyager
minivan with Ohio plates at 11:36
a.m. traveling eastbound on I-40 at Airport Road and then exited the
Interstate onto an off-ramp near College Avenue. Sgt. Brandon Paudert,
39, a back up officer arrived on the scene within moments of the traffic
stop. The suspects in the white mini van exited the vehicle with AK 47
assault rifles and shot canine officer Bill Evans and his back up
officer Sgt. Brandon Paudert. During the shooting canine officer Bill
Evan's partner, K9 "Kilo", was in Evan's vehicle. Paudert, the son of
West Memphis' police chief, died at the scene and Evans died at a
hospital shortly after. Both officers were wearing their vests. The suspects, Jerry Kane, 45, and his son,
Joseph Kane, 16, then drove off in the white mini van. About 90 minutes
later, a minivan that had been seen leaving the shooting site was
spotted in a parking lot of a nearby Wal-Mart. There, it was approached
by Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Enforcement Officer
W.A. Wren, who were traveling in the same vehicle. Both officers were
wounded in a gun battle initiated by the suspects. Sheriff Dick Busby
was shot in the arm and Chief Enforcement Officer W.A. Wren was shot in
the abdomen and air lifted to Regional Medical Center at Memphis, where
they were in critical condition. Officer Michael
Neal, a Arkansas Fish and Game wildlife officer in his state truck, had
rammed the suspect vehicle, preventing an exit of the suspects who were
then shot and killed. Neal's bravery likely put a stop to a hail of
gunfire that had already wounded Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby
and his deputy chief, W.A. Wren. The Kane's family dog "valor" who was in the white
van with them was shot eight times died 3 days later. Services for the
both officers were held at Lehr Arena four hours apart from each other.
Officer Evans K9 partner "Kilo" attended the service along with
thousands who paid their respect. Officer Evans was with West Memphis
Police Department for nine years.
Evans, a 38-year-old father of two who
was engaged to be married.
Donations can be made to
Bill Evans & Brandon Paudert at Suntrust bank or Wachovia Bank.
had a long history with police and recently complained about being
busted at a "Nazi checkpoint" near Carrizozo, N.M., where court records
show he spent three days in jail before posting a $1,500 bond on charges
of driving without a license and concealing his identity. Warnings were
given to officers on July 21, 2004, about Kane, saying he might be
dangerous to law enforcement. Kane had complained in July 2004
about being sentenced to six days of community service for driving with
an expired license plate and no seat belt, saying the judge had tried to
"enslave" him. Kane added that he was a "free man" and asked for
$100,000 per day in gold or silver.
Sheriff Deputy Ian Michael Deutch
April 26, 2010 - Pahrump, Nevada - Age 27
Deputy Ian Michael Deutch, 27, was shot and killed 4/26/10 in a casino
parking lot in Nevada. Ian Deutch was driving with a field training
officer when they responded after gunfire was first reported at a home a
short distance from Terrible's Lakeside Casino & RV Park in
Sabrina Hepler had
called 911 at 3:41 p.m. from her vehicle who told dispatchers that she
was in a car and her boyfriend
James Lacy Chaffin, 30,
was in a pickup, following
her and firing at her. She told dispatchers that she was going to the
casino to escape him.Dispatchers
told her not to do that because she would be heading away from sheriff's
deputies who were going to try to pull Chaffin's truck over. She chose
to park her vehicle and flee inside the casino anyway, with Chaffin
following her. A short time later, Chaffin went back outside the casino,
got into his vehicle and began driving around the parking lot. As Deutch
and his field training officer were pulling up to the scene, they saw a
parked, empty pickup in the parking lot with a white car pulling up in
front of them. Because the girlfriend told dispatchers that Chaffin was
driving a pickup and that she was driving a car, they got out of their
department-issued pickup to look for the suspect inside the casino. But
Chaffin was in the car, and in less than two seconds, he fired at least
11 rounds from an SKS Soviet 7.62x39mm caliber semi-automatic rifle, which had a 30-round clip,
striking Deutch five times piercing his body armor as he
was just getting out of
the driver's side
-- three times in the chest
and once each in the knee and pelvic area. When the shooting
happened both men were less than twelve feet apart from one another. Surveillance video of
the incident showed there was little that could have been done to
The shooting that killed Deutch was an unprovoked
Doug McKillips, 45, a seven-year department veteran, was with Deutch
in a marked sheriff's
department pickup truck and escaped injury. A third deputy,
Deputy Tom Klenczar, 39, a
six-year veteran of the department arrived in a patrol vehicle and shot
Chaffin four times in the back as Chaffin shot at Deutch
killing the gunman at the scene. James Lacy
Chaffin's girlfriend was not injured. Deutch was flown by medical
helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where he underwent
surgery but died approximately 9:00 p.m.
The whole disturbance began
after Chaffin's ex-girlfriend, refused to talk with Chaffin about
the status of their relationship. She had been temporarily staying with
a friend and his wife. About 3:30 p.m. she drove to the friends house on
Cajon Lane, a block from the casino, to pick up the rest of her
She was about to move to
Arizona to stay with different friends, A "calm, reasonable"
Chaffin was waiting for Sabrina in her friends living room.
Chaffin was under the
impression that his girlfriend was willing to talk. When she refused,
Chaffin took her keys and purse and refused to let her leave until she
agreed to discuss their situation.
He wanted to split
everything down the middle because they had been together 12 years. She
didn't want to give him a straight answer about if it was over or not,
and started yelling and screaming getting Chaffin upset. She finally
called police and fled in a co-worker's vehicle. An enraged Chaffin pursued
her with a handgun, shooting out a tire and firing multiple shots
through the vehicle's back window.
A friend tried to calm
Chaffin but it was too late and Chaffin followed her to the casino. Deutch a staff sergeant and squad leader was a
meritorious service medal winner and among 752 soldiers with the 1st
Squadron, 221st Calvary who had just returned home 2 days earlier from
Afghanistan identifying Taliban targets for artillery strikes outside
combat outpost Nagil.
Ian Deutch was a
ten-year veteran of the Nevada Army National Guard.
Sheriff Deputy Ian Deutch joined the
department as a patrol deputy on April 12, 2004 and six months later, he
was transferred to the K-9 detail and was a canine officer until he was
Sheriff Deputy Ian Deutch was one of Nye County's 108 sworn deputies to
cover more than 18,000 square miles. He was assigned to
K-9 Patrol with his faithful partner. About
1,000 people attended the memorial service. Deutch's flag-draped coffin
was carried in the back of a pickup from the Nye County Sheriff's
"Taps" was played by a pair of buglers,
riflemen on the roof of the church fired a 21-gun salute,
five-piece police band played "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes and drums, and
a police dispatcher went on the radio to broadcast that "K9-3," Deutch's
call sign, was at the "end of watch."
K9 Chico attended the
service of his handler and was given to Deputy Ian Deutch's family .
Deputy Ian Deutch was cremated after the service.
Deputy Deutch left behind a wife, Vicky; a 5-year-old daughter,
Savonya; and an 18-year-old stepson, Jonathan and his K9 partner "Chico". Ian and Vicky wed in March
2009, shortly before his deployment to Afghanistan.
A memorial fund has also
been set up under Deutch’s name at Nevada State Bank, 1301 S. Highway
160, under the account No. 0258040427.
Officer James Franklin Carter Jr.
April 20, 2010 - Butts County, Georgia - Age 35Canine
officer Jimmy Carter Jr. was killed in an automobile accident on
April 20, 2010 at approximately 9:00 p.m. while en route to work in
his own vehicle, a Ford
Ranger pickup truck . The crash happened in
Butts County along Keys Ferry Road. Investigators said he
traveled off a small rut at
the edge of the roadway then came back on the roadway, and then went
back to the shoulder. He over-corrected, and the truck rotated
around, went off the road sideways and struck a tree broadside with
the passenger side door. It was raining and the road was wet
at the time of the accident. Officer Carter was
not wearing a seat belt and
was killed on impact. Officer Carter served his country in
the Army for eight years. He served eleven years with the Henry
County Police Department. Officer Carter' leaves behind his two
children, Audrey Rose Carter, James F. "Jay" Carter III,
ages 6 and 7 and his K9 Blaze.
Sgt. Sean Steven Cuccaro
April 1, 2010 - Sebastopol, California - Age 45
Sgt. Sean Cuccaro, 45, died
on 4/1/10. Just
two days after learning of cancer in his liver, Cuccaro was hospitalized
March 26, and his condition deteriorated quickly. Cuccaro joined the
Sebastopol Police Department on Jan. 31, 1984, when he was appointed a
control aide, and on April 5 that same year, was appointed as a reserve
officer taking on his first shift on April 26. He was promoted to
dispatcher in July the following year, and finally entered the Police
Academy January 1988. Upon his graduation in April, he was appointed a
full-time officer. On Nov. 1, 2003, he was promoted to Corporal, and on
Oct. 1, 2006, promoted to sergeant, a position he held until his
retirement on Aug. 1, 2008 due to a back injury. He served with the
Sebastopol Police Department for 25 years and received his Associates
Degree in Law Enforcement at Santa Rosa Junior College. During his tenure with
the SPD, Cuccaro also served as the K-9 officer with his partners Ike
and Raydar. In 1994, Cuccaro was honored, as Sonoma County's Police
Officer of the Year for rescuing a Sebastopol resident from a burning
building. Approximately one thousand people attended his funeral along
with 10 K9 units. He is survived by daughters
Amanda Cuccaro and Ashley Cuccaro as well
as his service canine, Raydar.
Contributions to the Sonoma County Chapter of the American Cancer
Society, 1451 Guerneville Road, Suite 220, Santa Rosa, CA, 95403, or to
charity are requested.
Clovis Wayne "J.R." Searcy
March 6, 2010 - Monroe, Louisiana - Age 33
J.R. Searcy, 33, was finishing his 12 hour day shift around 6 p.m. on
3/4/10 when he arrived at the
scene to back up another deputy . Searcy, who was off duty at the time,
responded to a call . He just finished his shift, but went out to
assist a fellow deputy. He was
responding to a call about a reported aggravated assault on Browning
Road near Louisiana 34 in southwestern Ouachita Parish. It was reported
that a suspect, Michael Tanner, 26,
had tried to run people over with his vehicle. When the deputies
arrived, they confronted the suspect standing outside of his vehicle.
Corporal Searcy had his Taser in his hand, and ordered the suspect to
put his hands up who was approximately 15 yards away. As the suspect
raised his hands, he suddenly pulled a .40 caliber handgun that he had
concealed in the small of his back, and opened fire, striking Corporal
Searcy twice. Cpl. Searcy didn't have a chance to pull his
weapon from his holster. The second deputy returned fire, killing the
suspect. Corporal Searcy was taken to St. Francis Medical Center. One
bullet went through the brain, and the other was lodged at the base of
his brain. His
spinal cord was severed. The bullet
went in through the armhole of Searcy's bulletproof vest, and ricocheted
through the top of his spinal cord.
A brain scan
conducted two days later found no activity and was pronounced dead
around 10:40 p.m.,
two days later on 3/6/10. Searcy's family was
making arrangements with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency to allow
the deputy to become an organ donor, and so the life support apparatus
had remained on.
Corporal Searcy had served with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office for
He also served in
the United States Air Force 4 years as a military police officer. He was
also a successful business owner of C&K Searcy Enterprises, a lawn care
business. Approximately 4,000 attended his funeral.
Honor guards from
Monroe, West Monroe, Louisiana State Police and the Sheriff's Office
will participate in the funeral. Kilpatrick Funeral Home donated its
services and the burial plot for Searcy. Mulhearn Funeral Home also
offered to provide services. Forty
K-9 officers and their dogs from various law enforcement agencies lined
the cemetery road leading to the grave.
The State Police Color Guard conducted a 21-gun salute for Searcy at the
cemetery. Horse-mounted officers and K-9 officers were stationed at the
cemetery. The U.S. Secret Service contacted
President Barack Obama's office to get a letter from the
president to present to Searcy's family. "J.R." has worked with the
Secret Service when dignitaries came to town. He is survived by his wife, Kerry,
of nine years and three
children, a son Justin, a daughter Maegan and step son Nicholas Lambert. Donations
to the Family of Corporal Searcy can be made at any Progressive Bank at
any of the following locations,
Monroe: 1411 North 19th Street or 1398
Lamy Lane, West Monroe: 3421 Cypress Street or 701 Trenton Street.,
Winnsboro: 301 Fair Avenue or
Bossier: 2600 Beene Blvd
Michael Tanner has a
lengthy record with the sheriff's office. The departments in Monroe and
West Monroe had dealings with him many times.
He has been arrested more than ten times. His arrests
include anything from drug possession to simple assault.
Sept. 19, 2001 - Careless
operation of a vehicle, May 30, 2002 - Speeding, June 19, 2002- Drug
possession, June 21, 2002 - Careless operation of a vehicle, Dec. 12,
2002 - Illegal deer hunting, discharge of firearms, Oct. 17, 2003 -
Following too closely, Jan. 14, 2004 - Reckless operation of a vehicle,
June 23, 2004 - Drug possession, June 16, 2005 - Speeding, July 12,
2006 - Obstructing the view of the driver, June 15, 2006 - Expired
license plate, Nov. 8, 2006 - Failure to register, Nov. 29, 2006 -
Driving while intoxicated, Feb. 13, 2008 - Criminal trespassing, Nov.
10, 2008 - Driving without proper equipment on vehicle, Nov. 13, 2008 -
Illegal passing, June 14, 2009 - Disturbing the peace, Nov. 23, 2009 -
Stop sign and yield sign, and Dec. 21, 2009 - Domestic abuse battery.
In December of 2009 Tanner was
arrested for domestic abuse against his girlfriend. She alleged he
grabbed her throat and threatened to hit her. His court date on the
domestic abuse battery charge was scheduled for March 30, 2010.
In 2006, he was arrested
for another domestic abuse charge against another girlfriend.In June of 2009 Ouachita Parish deputies
picked Tanner up for aggravated assault with a knife, against his
father. The two had an argument ending with Tanner pulling a knife on
After initially entering a
plea of innocent and failing to appear at one of the court dates, Tanner
pleaded guilty to the charge. He paid a fine and courts costs totaling
March 5, 2010 - Los Angeles, California - Age 54
Captain Carrie Henger Neff,
54, died on March 5, 2010 at 1:30 a.m.
after a 4 & 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer, which was
On May 18, 2010, the Los Angeles County Fire
Department honored her and her K-9 partner, Sprocket, on what would
would have been both of their birthdays. Carrie Henger Neff was the
first woman in the LA County Fire Department's Honor Guard. Her first
K-9 partner was Spanner and was certified in accelerant detection and
was a duel purpose dog. At the time Spanner was the only one that they
were aware of in the United States that could actually do both and be
accepted as an expert in court for arson. After the death of Spanner,
Carrie chose Sprocket as her new canine partner. She also worked with
Doc, her search and rescue dog, and partner in California Task Force 2.
At the end of his career, Sprocket was also diagnosed with cancer, a
tumor in his spleen, which caused severe pain and her husband Bob made
the difficult decision to put Sprocket down just a week after Carried
died. Carrie was a pioneer, helping to develop the LA County Fire
Department's K9 program and served 18 years. Carrie's love for animals was a constant
throughout her life. Before going into the fire service, she trained
many animals for movies and television shows. When Carrie went into the
fire service, she learned what a key element the service dogs play for
arson and search and rescue, which was a perfect way for her to use her
two passions. She dedicated her career to the development of service dog
programs within the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Carrie's last
deployment was with her search dog Doc at Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
When teams were being deployed to Haiti in January, Carrie was retired,
but saw her vision become a reality when the dogs from L.A. County Fire
Department, along with other departments, were able to locate human life
beneath the rubble. Carrie was a past director of the Canine Accelerant
Detection Association and trained with them for many years. She also was
a member of the North American Police Work Dog Association.
She also was
honored as WeTIP's Fire Investigator of the Year. Carrie and Bob had celebrated their first wedding
anniversary just a few weeks before on Feb. 14, 2010.
Carrie chose to be cremated.
Carrie is survived
by her husband, Bob Neff, also a fellow Captain that retired from the
City of Riverside Fire Department. Donations
can be made to the Humane Society of Moab Valley.
Officer Claude "Hal" Rawlinson
February 21, 2010 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, - Age 75
Rawlinson, who retired from the Tulsa Police Department
as a sergeant in 1981. He died February 21, 2010, at the age of 75.
In the 1960s, his first K9 partner,
together as part of the Tulsa Police Department's new K-9 unit. Rawlinson, launched the unit with another officer in 1962. He served in
the Marines during the Korean War. Rawlinson began his career with the
Tulsa Police Department in 1961. He received K-9 training in Kansas
City, Mo., the next year Rawlinson worked with Doc for years until the
dog was diagnosed with brain cancer. In 1966, while Rawlinson was off
duty, he "missed death by the skin of his thumb," He was working at a
laundry he owned when he heard a traffic accident outside. He went out
and saw a man fleeing into a nearby gas station. Rawlinson and an
on-duty deputy sheriff followed him into the station's restroom, where
the man shoved a German Luger into Rawlinson's stomach. As the man tried
to pull the trigger, the web of skin between Rawlinson's thumb and index
finger prevented the gun's hammer from firing. He was named Officer of
the Month for his bravery. After 20 years of service, Rawlinson retired
from the Police Department at age 46 as a sergeant. His wife, Joyce Eudy
, died in 1991. He is survived by three daughters, Rise Bennett, Dana
Hardy, and Aubrey Hill; two sons, Randy Rawlinson and Doug Rawlinson.
Officer David Strong
January 19, 2010 - Genesee Township, Michigan- Age 42
passed away at his residence on January 19, 2010. Officer Strong
was with the Genesee police for ten years. He
was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Surviving are children Hailee,
Chance and Christian and their mother, Debra, and his K9 partner
Officer Charlie Dallas
January 18, 2010 - Lakeland, Florida, - Age 56
Officer Charlie Dallas, 56, a twenty year
veteran of the Lakeland Police Department died on 1/18/10 in a
two-vehicle collision at 4:20 p.m. on U.S. 27 and Jackson Street, just
south of Lake Wales after his SUV Ford Explorer overturned and was
declared dead at the scene. According to the Florida Highway Patrol the
accident happened when Federico Vasquez, 23, of Sebring was driving a
2006 Pontiac G6 south on U.S. 27 and swerved left to avoid hitting a
1989 Ford station wagon, driven by Sharon Kolbinskie, 54, of Lake Wales,
who was crossing the road at Jackson Street. Vasquez crossed the median
and into Dallas' path. The left side of Vasquez's car struck the left
side of Dallas' 2008 Ford Explorer and Dallas lost control of the SUV
and it rolled over, throwing him out. Vasquez and his passenger, Katie
Boyette, were not injured. Polk County emergency workers called for a
helicopter, but by the time it arrived, Dallas had died. Dallas, at the
time was working an off-duty detail for Lakeland Regional Medical Center
and was not wearing a seat belt. Dallas' passenger, Karyn Spencer, 33,
of Lakeland was taken to Lake Wales Regional Medical Center for unknown
injuries. Spencer was a Lakeland Regional Medical Center employee
accompanying Dallas on a patient transfer. The two were on their way
back to Lakeland in the Lakeland Regional Medical Center vehicle. The
others involved in the crash were wearing seat belts. Charges in the
crash are pending.
Officer Charlie Dallas, had been named the department's Officer of the
Year in 1996 and 2000. He was a canine handler for nineteen years and
handled 3 dogs in his career and even kept
his last dog, Dinx, after he retired.
Officer Dallas and his K9 Dynx won
top 4-man team honors in the
USPCA Region One trials held in Pensacola in 2008 which made it the
third year in a row the Lakeland Police Department K-9 Unit claimed the
top 4-man team award. Others that comprised the team were Officer Ted
Sealey (K-9 Bodo), Officer Jeff Barrett (K-9 Beno), and Officer Rob
Manrow (K-9 Bask). The team competed against approximately 50 other
teams to win the award.
and K9 Dynx came in 6thin the
top 10 individual standings
Dallas received the department's Medal of Valor for his actions while
catching two murder suspects in 1999. He also received an award after a
double murder in 2008 in which police tracked down the shooting
suspect, who was pointing a short-barrel shotgun to his head and
threatening to kill himself. Dallas persuaded the suspect to put down
the gun and the man was taken into custody. Officer Dallas had planned
to retire in a couple of months He is survived by his wife
Elaine and their sons Dustin and Justin. The Dallas family is asking that in lieu
of flowers, donations be made to the K-9 unit of Lakeland Police
January 18, 2010 - Curepe, Trinidad - Age 23
Kedar Alexander, 23, who
was employed with K-9 Security Services, was murdered approximately
3.30 p.m. in Curepe. Security Officer Alexander was on duty at the
Jackpot Club Casino when six people ran into the entrance of the
casino and one of the men shot him in the head twice killing him
instantly before he had a chance to react according to witnesses.
The bandits then took Alexander's Glock 9 mm pistol valued
$4,500 , a magazine and 17 live rounds of ammunition valued $150
from his body and entered the casino. Once they were in the
casino they robbed patrons and physically assaulted a number of
people in there at the time. The accused robbed Paul Gonzales,
Camella Ash, Judy John and Oswald John of thousands of dollars worth
in cash, jewelry, cellphones, ATM cards and personal items. The
suspects stole $151,000 cash from the casino’s manager, Billy John,
of $151,000, and the casino's a CCTV computer monitor valued $65,000
and a quantity of video surveillance equipment, including
televisions and closed circuit cameras.
Two part-time exotic
dancers were among the four people who appeared before Tunapuna
Magistrate Ramraj Harripersad and charged with the murder of a
security canine officer Kedar Alexander. They were also charged
with robbery with aggravation and physically assaulting a number
of people who were in the casino. The two women, Kelly-Ann
"Foxy" Shortte, 25, and Asha "Shordy" Lee, 16, are from Upper Bushe Street, San Juan, while the men are Anthony
"Bussa" Contrera, 26, of Straker Lane, Tunapuna, and Ricardo "Grizzley"
Constance, 27, of Mt D'or Road, Champs Fleurs. Magistrate
Harripersad remanded the accused into custody and the matter was
adjourned to February 8.
Officer Michael McLaughlin
January 10, 2010 - Foster City, California - Age 48
Officer McLaughlin passed away
of natural causes unexpectedly at his home while sleeping on January 10, 2010. Officer McLaughlin was
a 21-year veteran of the Foster City
Mike was a well respected member of the
Department and well known throughout the State for his experience and
expertise with police service dogs. Officer McLaughlin joined the Foster
City Police Department in 1989 after serving five years in the United
States Army. He graduated as the "Top Student" from the San Francisco
Police Department Academy in May, 1989. During his career, Mike
received numerous commendations and accolades from the public. In April
2006, Mike was credited with saving the life of a 25 year-old man by
administering CPR. In March 2008, he was one of three officers who
rescued an intoxicated driver who had driven her car into the Foster
City lagoon. This life saving action was recognized in 2009 by the
Peninsula Council of Lions Clubs, when Officer McLaughlin received their
Heroism Award. Officer McLaughlin served as a canine officer for 16
years, starting in 1993 and had five different service dogs during his
career. He competed locally and internationally with his canine
partners and regularly took high honors during annual canine trials held
in the local area. McLaughlin's
passion for dogs sent him to Europe several times, landed him on the
cable TV program "MythBusters". Around 1993 he started working closely
with Witmer-Tyson Imports in Menlo Park, a kennel and import business
that provides police dogs and training to 40 law enforcement agencies in
the Bay Area. McLaughlin
helped train dogs and officers, but he also spent a lot of his spare
time at the company's headquarters. In 2007, he also ended up on camera,
when an episode of "MythBusters" was staged at the Witmer-Tyson Kennels.
During his appearance, McLaughlin brought out a fierce German shepherd
named Eewan, who was used to test whether it is possible to effectively
distract a guard dog. Over the 16 years he was involved with the kennel,
McLaughlin took part in the training of nearly 250 dogs and their
handlers. He also got heavily involved in the Menlo Park Schutzhund
Club. McLaughlin did well in trials and ended up on a U.S. team that
competed in an international police dog competition in Germany in 1998
and also competed in Austria.
McLaughlin was known to demanded a lot out of his trainees in the name
of quality and safety.
He was a well respected canine handler in the
community and trained and worked with police canine handler teams
from around northern California. Mike was well known locally for his
community presentations with his various service dogs. He taught at the
Citizens Police Academy and participated in canine demonstrations at
Foster City community events, schools, youth groups and was a regular
invitee to public canine presentations in several other local
communities. Mike's son,
Michael Jr. is picking up
where his father left off and is a trainer at the Witmer-Tyson Kennels.
Mike is survived by his wife Kathy, sons Mike Jr. and
Chris, and daughter Kim age 14. The Foster City Police Officers' Association
has established the McLaughlin Family Trust at Merrill Lynch. Donations
can be made by calling 925-945-4882.
January 9, 2010 - Mishawaka, Indiana - Age 42Mishawaka
Police Cpl. James Szuba, 42, and his K-9 partner, Ricky, were killed
in a traffic accident on 1/9/10 while on duty at approximately 9:20
p.m. Cpl. Szuba and the 8 year old K-9 unit dog Ricky were both
pronounced dead on the scene. The accident occurred on Byrkit Street
just south of McKinley Avenue. Captain Tim Spencer was in an
unmarked car and saw an SUV, GMC Yukon, going 51 in a 30 zone on Fir Road. He
turned his lights and sirens on to pull him over. He reported the
suspect took off. After a high-speed chase, the suspect hit a fire
hydrant but kept going. Spencer then called for backup. Szuba was
providing backup for Spencer when the suspect crossed the
intersection at the same time as Szuba. The suspect had swerved around a
vehicle parked at the stoplight at McKinley Highway when he hit the
oncoming squad car of Corporal Szuba and Ricky. The driver of that vehicle, Shawn
Devine, 31, of Mishawaka, was taken to a local hospital for
treatment of his injuries. When Officer John Minier with the Humane
Society arrived on the scene K9 "Ricky" was taking his last breath. Szuba joined the Mishawaka Police
Department on Feb. 26, 2002. Cpl. Szuba was a ILEA firearms
instructor and the armor for the Mishawaka Police Department and
served eight years with them. K9
"Ricky" was cremated on 1/11/10. and was next to Cpl Szuba
during the service and later was decided by the family to keep K9
Ricky's ashes at their home. Thousands attended their service and
K9 officers with their K9 partners also attended the service. Pipes & Drums,
bagpipe group, along with a color guard and a riderless horse
accompanied the hearse into the cemetery as the K-9 officers all
saluted. All of the officers in attendance wore upside down white
carnations, each with a red dot. The white was to symbolize purity
and service and the red dot symbolized the blood Szuba and K9 Ricky shed. At the end of the
cemetery service, all officers placed their white carnations, on the cremains of Ricky and the casket of
Cpl. Szuba. Szuba
is survived by a wife,
two children, Joshua James Szuba , who turned 22 two days after his fathers
death, and Stephanie Elizabeth Szuba, who is 18.
Memorial contributions can be made to
two funds, the Cpl. Jim Szuba/Canine Ricky Canine Fund, or the
Heroes Section Southlawn Cemetery Fund. The address to send
contributions to either fund is the same: Policeman's Federal Credit
Union, 1130 S. Main St., South Bend, IN 46601.
Shawn Devine has been in the
police system many times. Devine was first convicted in 1997 when he was
18 years old for violating his learner's permit and disregarding a stop
sign. In the course of 13 years, Devine was arrested for six more
driving offenses, five of which ended in convictions and four of which
were related to alcohol. In a 2002 incident in Mishawaka, Devine smashed
into a woman's parked car near the 200 block of East Stanley and drove
off. Mishawaka police caught up with the man at a 7-Eleven store where
Devine failed multiple roadside sobriety tests and officers also found
four unopened cans of "Icehouse" lying on the floorboard of Devine's
car. Devine pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in the case, in
exchange for two other counts being dismissed. He was given one year of
probation, ordered to pay restitution and ordered to undergo a substance
abuse program, which he successfully completed. Devine also had drunken
driving convictions in 2005 and 2006 and a driving-while-suspended
infraction in 2007. In the 2006 case, Devine was charged with two Class
C misdemeanors along with two Class D felonies for operating a motor
vehicle while intoxicated after a prior conviction and operation of a
vehicle with more than 0.08 percent alcohol concentration after a prior
conviction. As part of a plea agreement, Devine pleaded guilty to the
first D felony count and the three other counts were dismissed. St.
Joseph Superior Judge Jerome Frese then sentenced Devine to a one-year
suspended sentence and one year of probation. Devine also was ordered to
serve three 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shifts at the county jail. The 2006 case
was the only infraction considered as a felony in Devine's driving
history. Police documents from Devine's 2006 arrest say Devine has never
had a valid Indiana license and dispatch data showed repeated
suspensions and prior convictions on only an expired ID card.
On July 20, 2009, in Michigan, a drug informant notified
Niles City Police Department he was arrested for the delivery of
marijuana at the Wal-Mart,
2107 S. 11th St. When a female
driver of the silver SUV in which Devine and another male were riding
pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot about 7:30 p.m. on July 20, 2009,
three Niles city police officers (two undercover) were waiting for them. After Devine
and the woman went inside the store and returned five minutes later with
no shopping bags in their hands, they got into the SUV. Police made a
traffic stop on the vehicle and asked, in separate interviews, why the
three were at the Wal-Mart, according to police. "All three gave
conflicting information as to why they were there," said court records.
Police asked the woman driver and Devine if they could search the
vehicle and they said yes, but they added that the vehicle didn't belong
to them. In a twist of irony, a police dog with a Niles officer
discovered marijuana in the back of Devine's vehicle. Police found 10
1-pound bags of marijuana in a camouflage bag. When the three were
arrested both Devine and his male friend blamed the other for why they
had marijuana in the SUV, court records revealed. Devine was sentenced
on Oct. 19 after a plea agreement to two days in jail with credit for
two days served. He also was placed on probation for 18 months with
He was convicted in October and placed on probation, but
could face four years for violation of probation.
According to the probation
terms, Devine was prohibited from drinking and from being away from his
Mishawaka house between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to
Berrien County Drug Court records. Devine could break his curfew but his
probation officer needed to be advised. Devine also had to undergo
random alcohol and drug testing and his probation terms for alcohol was
For this accident with Cpl Szuba, Devine faces five
charges including: operating while intoxicated and causing the death of
another person, two counts of operating with a controlled substance and
causing death to another person, resisting law enforcement and a
habitual substance offender. Devine's blood alcohol level was
at .239 percent at time of the crash, nearly three
times the legal limit. The legal limit is .08. Devine
faces up to 31 years in prison. On
1/14/10 Devine was transferred from the hospital
to the St. Joseph County jail. On 1/15/10, just after a few hours after
the service started for Cpl. Szuba, Devine appeared in court for the
first time in a wheelchair and was rolled in by deputies into a jail
room to be arraigned before a judge via video conference. A
preliminary plea of not guilty was entered for Devine. Devine’s
next court date will be on 1/21/10 in front of St. Joseph Superior Court
Judge Jane Woodward Miller and has a $100,000 bond. A
judge set Devine's trial date for May 10, 2010. On his plea deadline date
of March 30, 2010 he pleaded guilty to seven felony counts.
Count 1, causing a death - Operating a motor vehicle
while intoxicated (alcohol) Count 2, causing a death - Operating a
vehicle while under the influence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance
(cocaine) Count 3, causing a death - Operating a vehicle while under
the influence of a Schedule 2 controlled substance (Vicodin) Count 4,
causing a death while resisting law enforcement ,Count 5, he pleaded
guilty to being a habitual substance abuse offender (this allows the
court to impose an additional sentence) Count 6, possession of cocaine
Count 7, possession of controlled substance (Vicodin) The plea
agreement says Devine will spend at least 20 years but no more than 37
years in prison. Devine had a long record of drunk driving offenses.
Because of that he was also charged with being a habitual controlled
substance offender. It allows the court to impose an extra 3 to 8 years
in prison. On May 14, 2010
Judge Jane Woodward
Shawn Devine to thirty one
years in prison.
Also because of this tragedy
causing the death of a police dog while driving drunk could not be
prosecuted as a separate crime before this accident. In March of 2010,
Ricky's Law was passed, making it a Class D felony to be an impaired
driver who causes a police animal's death.
In Indiana, it was already a Class D felony to "knowingly
or intentionally" injure a law-enforcement animal and cause its death,
but state law did not provide for a criminal charge when the animal's
death is caused by impaired driving. The law now makes it possible for a
Class D felony charge to be filed against impaired drivers who cause
such an animal's death. A Class D felony conviction carries a potential
sentence of six months to three years in prison. It also raises the
penalty for drivers who cause the death of an officer while fleeing
police from a Class B felony to a Class A felony. Those convicted of a
Class A felony face prison sentences of 20 years to 50 years. This law
will serve as a tribute and recognize the sacrifice and honor the memory
of Officer Szuba, along with his trained K-9 partner. The Senate
approved this by a vote of 36-14, and the House voted 67-28 in favor of
On 12/6/10 Cpl. James
Szuba’s wife testified at a hearing before St. Joseph Superior Court
Judge David Chapleau and is seeking up to $5 million in damages in a
wrongful death lawsuit filed against David Devine.
Sgt. Brett Meredith January 2, 2010 - New South Wales,
Australia - Age 39Sergeant Meredith, 39,
was in a night club on January 1, 2010, while off duty in
Katherine and tried to stop a fight on New Years Day. Sergeant
Meredith was punched once in the head after which he fell hitting his head
hard on the ground
and was knocked unconscious and suffered severe head injuries. He
never regained consciousness.
He was at Club 23 with friends, including another off-duty officer,
Kevin Carr, and when a fight broke out and the pair intervened. Two
men are in custody over the incident, in which Constable Carr
received minor injuries. Sergeant Meredith's wife Amee, a decorated
police officer, was on duty near by and rushed to her husband's side
as he was taken to Katherine
hospital and placed in an induced coma, and was then medi-vacced at
about 7.45am on New Year's Day to
Royal Darwin Hospital where he underwent surgery for a fractured
skull and swelling to the brain. At 5:00 p.m. the following day a decision was made to
take him off life support when
Doctors told Amee Meredith that Brett had a 1 per cent chance of
survival and the best scenario for him was that he would not be
aware of his surroundings. Sergeant Meredith then passed away at
5:08 p.m. The
security-camera footage based on what was seen shows they were not
prepared for the attack and there is no way Sergeant Meredith was an
taken from Sgt Meredith at the hospital after the incident revealed
a blood alcohol reading of 0.20 per cent.
Sergeant Meredith joined the NSW police in 1990, working in the
State Protection Group Dog Unit. He was awarded the NSW Police Medal
in 2004 and the National Police Medal in 2006. In 2000, he was given a citation for
his role in the arrest of a violent offender and in 2006 was given a
certificate of merit for his part in arresting armed offenders
during a robbery. In 2005 he became a dog handler and specialised in
In late 2007, the couple sold their house at Bargo, in the NSW
southern highlands and moved to the Territory, seeking a safer home
for their children, Samuel, 6, Jordy, 4, and Abbey, 2. Sgt Meredith is also father to Brad,
9, and Lily, 7, from a previous marriage. Over one thousand attended his
service and a private ceremony was held for his cremation. A slow-moving riderless horse
marked the beginning of the funeral for Brett Meredith. The
horse bore a saddle with a pair of empty boots reversed in the
stirrups, representing a fallen leader looking back on his troops
for the last time, as it made its way to the Cathedral. A trust fund has been set up to
help the family of fallen policeman Brett Meredith.
Deposits can be made electronically to: NT Police Association Inc.
ATF Brett Meredith, BSB: 805-005, Account No: 5116830. People in NT
and SA can also make donations at any branch of the Police Credit
Union. For more information or if problems are faced, contact Julie
Colbert at the association's office on (08) 8981 8840.
Both Michael Simon Martyn and Aaron James Vale have been
both charged in the incident that happened on New Years Day. Michael
Simon Martyn, 38,
a builder's laborer, has been charged with one count of manslaughter over
the officer's death and magistrate
Melanie Little remanded Mr Martyn in custody until January 13.Aaron James Vale, 28,
appeared in the Darwin Magistrates Court charged with assault on a
police officer and causing harm, for assaulting Const Carr. He's
accused of punching Const Carr as he tried to assist his unconscious
Magistrate Daynor Trigg refused bail for
Vale and adjourned the matter until January 14. 2010.
On 1/14/10 Aaron James
Vale, 28, appeared in the Darwin Magistrates Court and
will have to live at
his grandmother's house and not drink alcohol or go to any
licensed venues. Mr. Vale's mother Kerry Vale had to put down a $1,000
cash security for Mr. Vale's release. Vale pleaded guilty to an
aggravated assault of Constable Kevin Carr and on June 1, 2010 Aaron
James Vale was sentenced in Katherine Magistrates Court to seven
months in prison , but it was suspended on the 14 days he had already
served. Vale's seven-month sentence was suspended on the conditions that
he be under supervision for 12 months, and not drink alcohol or enter
licensed premises for six months.
Michael Simon Martyn appeared in the Darwin
court on 1/13/10 the court heard how he extensive
criminal history spanning the NT, NSW and South Australia. Martyn's
lawyer, Glen Dooley, told the court. it was possible a self-defence case
would be raised. He told the court the incident had started when Martyn
brushed past Sgt Meredith at Club 23. Mr Dooley said the security guards
who removed Martyn from the scene gave statements claiming that Martyn
shook their hands and apologised for his behaviour as he left the club
to go home. He was later arrested by police. Constable Kevin Carr, who
was celebrating New Year's Eve with Sgt Meredith, described Sgt Meredith
as intoxicated but not "staggering drunk". Mr Dooley asked that his
client be granted bail to reside with his young family in Adelaide. Sgt
O'Neill said SA police did not have the power to arrest Martyn if he
breached the conditions of his bail agreement. He said granting Martyn
bail to reside in NT would also pose problems, due to concerns he may
try to interfere with witnesses. Previously convicted of multiple
charges relating to assaulting police, aggravated assault and the
deprivation of liberty, the court heard police in NSW describe Martyn as
a "standover man" who intimidated witnesses. Magistrate Sue Oliver
ordered a bail assessment report and adjourned the matter until January
19, 2010. On January 19, 2010
Martyn was granted bail on
his birthday on the condition he did not associate with anyone on a list of hundreds of
potential witnesses. He will have to report to police every day, is not
allowed to buy or consume alcohol, is not allowed to leave the Darwin
area, and has a curfew between 8pm and 6am. Martyn will appear before
the court again on February 9, 2010. At his February 9, 2010 court
appearance his restrictions were made less. Before he had to report to
the police on a daily basis but now only has to report into police on
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and is allowed to go fishing.
On May 11, 2010,
Michael Simon Martyn's
committal hearing started
with fifty witnesses to be called.
On June 16, 2011,
Michael Simon Martyn. Was found guilty of manslaughter. A
Supreme Court jury of 5 women and seven men returned a guilty verdict in
On June 16, 2011,
Michael Simon Martyn, 40, was found guilty of
manslaughter. A Supreme Court jury of 5 women and seven men returned a
guilty verdict in two hours. Martyn was sentenced by
Judge Peter Barr
July 20, 2011
to three years and eight months in jail, with a non-parole period of one
year and 10 months, for the manslaughter of Sergeant Brett Meredith, 39.