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
Officer Joseph Nathaniel CrowderDecember 12, 2016 -
Boynton Beach, Florida - Age 44
Boynton Beach Police K9
Officer Joe Crowder, 44, died on 12/12/16 at JFK Medical Center
after going out for a run. Officer Crowder was a 14-year veteran of the
force and had been a member of the K9 unit since 2012. Crowder's famous
partner, K9 Daxxx, had to retire last December due to health reasons.
Daxxx had an illustrious career, with some major take-downs that made
headlines. The dog tracked down murder suspect Michael Correa-Ortiz on
Valentine's Day in 2013. Correa-Ortiz is now serving 60 years for
killing Lyssa Moody and seriously injuring her husband in Tara Lakes.
Daxxx also took down the driver of a car that had led police on a
50-mile chase from Miami Gardens. The chase took officers along
Interstate 95 to Gateway Boulevard where one suspect ran from the car
and jumped over a barrier wall. Daxxx chased the man down into some
bushes in a nearby neighborhood. After Daxxx retired, Crowder became
teamed up with K9 Iro, a 4-year-old Czech-Shepherd.
In April, 2013, Crowder was named officer of the month for when he
tracked down a man who was hiding from police after his alleged
involvement in a fatal home invasion case. Before joining the Boynton
Beach Police Department in June, 2002, Crowder served as a community
service officer at the Chickasha Police Department in Oklahoma. Crowder
served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant. Crowder was the father of
two young boys, Jeremiah and Kaleb.
Officer Collin RoseNovember 23, 2016 -
Wayne State University- Age 29
Officer Collin Rose, 29, a Wayne State University Police
officer, was shot in the head on 11/22/16 at approximately
6:45 p.m. while on patrol
near campus and passed away on 11/23/16. Rose
radioed to say he was investigating possible thefts of
navigation systems from cars and SUVs, and was about to
speak to someone apparently on a bike. Officer Rose called
for back up at 6:31 p.m. Officers who arrived
on the scene at 6:34 p.m. found the officer injured on the ground
and transported him to Detroit Receiving Hospital.
A woman who witnessed the shooting said it happened while
Rose was attempting to apprehend someone and heard three
shots. Officer Rose was trying to
get him to put his arms behind his back. Rose left his two
drug sniffing dogs in the vehicle, observing proper police
procedure when he approached the suspect to question him. Officer Rose, was a
five-year veteran of the department.
The station reported that a
$5,000 reward was being offered for the recovery of the gun
used in the shooting and was not shot with his own gun. His
K9's names were Clyde and Wolverine.
Deangelo L. Davis, 31, of
Detroit is charged with first-degree murder, murder of a
police officer, felon in possession of a firearm and two
counts of felony firearm, as well as being a habitual
offender on 11/25/16. On 12/7/16 Prosecutors dropped
charges against him in the killing of Wayne State University
Officer Sgt. Collin Rose
and eliminated as a
suspect after a review of new evidence.
A reward of $10,000 is being offered by the
ATF and $5.000 from the Detroit Dog Rescue for information
that helps solve the case.
Cpl. Michael MitchellOctober 3, 2016 -
, Marana, Arizona - Age 39
Former police canine handler with the Sierra
Vista Police, Michael Mitchell,
39, committed suicide on 10/3/16. Cpl. Mitchell was on paid leave while
FBI were investigating allegations back in July of 2015. Mitchell was
having sexual relations with a woman that started in May of 2015.
Mitchell resigned in November of 2015 after it was discovered that he
was having a sexual relationship with a confidential informant.
resigned from the Sierra Vista Police Department in November of 2015. An internal investigation revealed that he removed
evidence from a crime scene to protect an informant he had a sexual
relationship with. Marana Police
officers and Northwest Fire District personnel responded to the 1200
block of North Sabal Palm Way at about 2 p.m. after receiving a report
of an unresponsive male. Mitchell was pronounced
dead at his Marana home. Mitchell began working for the Sierra Vista
Police Department in 2004 and served as the department's lead K9 handler
for years. He was involved in the investigation and arrest of several
drug dealers and other criminals. Mitchell's resignation came after
Sierra Vista Police, acting on a tip from a man arrested on burglary
charges, discovered text messages between the former officer and a
confidential informant indicating they had a sexual relationship. Police
also say Mitchell removed the woman's cellphone from a vehicle that was
seized as evidence. In an interview with police, the informant denied
ever having been paid for information she provided to Mitchell. At least
17 pending criminal cases that relied on testimony from Mitchell had to
be dismissed once the investigation into his misconduct began. The
police department also reviewed all of Mitchell's previous cases but
found no misconduct.
Sgt. Ronald Dale Mathis Jr.September 25, 2016 -
Charleston, West Virginia - Age
Sgt. Ronald Dale Mathis Jr. of Charleston, WV, passed away on Sunday,
September 25, 2016. He served the citizens of Kanawha County as a Deputy
Sheriff for 20 years. Ronald was a master K9 trainer, certified in
tracking, narcotic detection, apprehension, and bomb detection. He was
nominated for the Top Cop Award in 2005. Those left to cherish his
memory are children, Christin Mathis, Kelsey Mathis, Ronald Mathis III,
and Zackary Mathis.and mother of his children, Jennifer Mathis; loving
K9 partner DEA, Ronald was preceded in death by his first K9 partner,
Bern. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Kanawha County
Deputy Sheriff's Association, 301 Virginia St. E, Charleston, WV 25301,
Attn: Adam Crawford, or The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 3 International
Drive, Suite 200, Rye Brook, NY 10573.
Officer Timothy James BrackeenSeptember12, 2016 -
Shelby, North Carolina- Age 38
Officer Tim Brackeen, 38, who was shot on 9/10/16
at approximately 12:20 a.m.
was taken to Cleveland Regional
Medical Center and then taken to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment
died from his wound on 9/12/16 at 11:42 a.m. Brackeen was shot in the line of duty in the area of Shelby’s
Parkview Street, in Shelby North Carolina while searching for Irving
Lucien Fenner Jr., 23, of Grover, North Carolina. The subject
was wanted on outstanding warrants who had failed to show up to an August court date for
misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana
Officer Brackeen was a 12-year veteran of
the department and was wearing a bullet-resistant vest when shot in the
torso, Officer Brackeen was named
the Shelby department’s officer of the year in 2012. He
leaves behind his wife Mikel of eighteen years, and
his four-year-old daughter,
Daphne. and his K9 partner Ciko.
Brackeen’s service was held at
Keeter Stadium where approximately 7,000 people
attended the service along with Brackeen’s K9 partner who
was retired from service following the memorial.The
state offered a reward of up to $10,000 for
information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or
persons responsible for the shooting before the suspect was captured.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials can be made;Shelby
Police Department K-9 Unit, PO Box 207, Shelby NC 28151.
SWAT team members took 23-year-old Irving Lucien Fenner into custody at
around 2:35 a.m. at an apartment in Coventry, Rhode Island. Fenner was
taken to a hospital to treat a gunshot wound he suffered in the deadly
incident with Brackeen. Deitria Morris was arrested as an accessory
after the fact.
On 9/22/16, Fenner, signed extradition waiver
papers in Rhode Island court to return to Cleveland County to face a
first-degree murder charge. On 10/3/16 Fenner made his first court
Cleveland County, North Carolina.
Fenner is being held without bond in the Gaston
Five other people have been charged for their alleged involvement in the
Casey Fenner of New York and Deitra Morris of Shelby were each charged
with accessory after the fact of first-degree murder, which is a Class C
Fenner’s uncle, Corry Peeler and his girlfriend Hope Wyman, are both
charged with harboring a criminal
from “aid that they provided the suspect
after the murder.
Ashley Hamrick was charged with felony harboring a fugitive “for giving
Fenner aid and comfort while he was subject to outstanding warrants for
1st degree burglary, robbery with dangerous weapon, and second degree
Hamrick is accused of harboring Fenner, knowing he was wanted, when
officer Brackeen attempted to serve warrants on him.
De'Greaun FrazierAugust 9,2016 -
Jackson, Tennessee - Age 35
Special Agent De'Greaun Frazier, 35, of the Tennessee Bureau of
Investigation was investigating illegal drugs in Jackson, Tennessee, on
8/9/16 in the afternoon afternoon when he was shot and killed. TBI said
the shooter tried to rob the undercover agent before killing him. TBI
spokesman Josh Devine said this was the first TBI agent who has ever
died in the line of duty.
Frazier was in a car with an
informant and another man conducting an undercover drug purchase. The
other man, who was sitting in the back seat, pulled a gun and tried to
rob Frazier and the informant, who were in the front seat, TBI spokesman
Josh DeVine said. The gunman fired once, striking the TBI agent. Frazier
was pronounced dead at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
Agent De'Greaun Frazier was was married, and
he was a father." TBI said the man who killed agent Frazier was arrested
a short time after the shooting. Frazier was formerly a Millington
Police Officer and an officer for the University of Memphis. Frazier
served in Millington for six years, including time as a K9 officer and a
detective. He also worked for Shelby County Sheriff's Office.
Sgt.Calvin Wenceslao Aguilar
August 4, 2016 - Copperas Cove, Texas-
Sgt. Calvin Wenceslao Aguilar, 32, of Hayward, California wasfound
unresponsive August 4 in Copperas Cove, Texas.
Sgt. Aguilar, entered active-duty
in October 2006 as a working dog handler. He was assigned to the 720th
Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood,
since July 2013, according to a Fort Hood news release. Aguilar deployed
in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2007 to March 2009
and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from January 2012 to
January 2013. Aguilar’s awards and decorations include the three Army
Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, two Army Good Conduct
Medals, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal,
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with arrowhead device, Iraqi Campaign Medal
with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal,
Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service
Ribbon, two Overseas Service Ribbons, NATO medal, combat action badge,
parachutist badge. He is survived by his daughter Isabella, his four
legged son Nico and his wife Loralyn.
July 2016 - Humberside,
known retired Scunthorpe policeman John Ellis died at a his home at the
age of 68, after a long illness. Mr Ellis was a dog handler with the
Humberside force based in Scunthorpe. He became a familiar and often
welcome sight on the streets of the town with a succession of dogs named
Dirk, Zeus, Jason, Jed and Heini. He was also a member of the firearms
squad. He joined the force in 1969 His family have requested mourners if
they wish to make donations to the Healthtree Foundation to help the
work of the local Macmillan cancer nurses.
Deputy AnthonyJoseph "TJ" Freeman
May 5 2016 - Macon, Georgia -
Bibb County Deputy, Anthony Joseph “T.J.” Freeman,
29, was killed on 5/4/16 while pursuing a suspicious vehicle in
Bloomfield Village in Georgia. Freeman's dog, K9 Bojar, was with him at
the time of the crash but did not appear to be injured. Deputy Freeman
was pronounced dead at the Medical Center, Navicent Health at 3:36 a.m.
The accident happened on Columbus Road near Buena Vista Drive.
Freeman's patrol vehicle was hit on the driver’s side by
the suspect's vehicle, which came from Buena Vista Drive as Freeman was
coming down Columbus Road. Freeman’s vehicle went off the road,
coming to a stop in the front yard of a residence in the 2800 block of
Columbus Road. Because of the recent burglaries and entering autos in
recent weeks, investigators attempted to stop the vehicle and see what
was going on.The driver, later identified as Montavious Kinder, 24, sped
off and investigators pursued, calling for additional units to assist.
Kinder was treated at Coliseum Northside Hospital for minor injuries. He
was taken to the Monroe County Jail, charged with pre-existing warrants.
Other charges are pending. He was a narcotics investigator for the last
five years. A veteran of seven years, he was also a SWAT officer, a K-9
handler and was about to start training to become a training instructor.
Freeman is survived by his wife, Jessica, and their two children,
Braden, 11, and Blaiklyn, 6. His K9 partner "Bojar" was given to the
family. TV show “Cops”
theme song, “Bad Boys”, to close Freeman’s service.
Approximately eleven hundred attended his service. Donations can be made to the Macon Shriners,
222 Mecca Drive, Macon, Georgia, 31206.
Montavious Kinder is
charged with vehicular homicide, felony murder and reckless driving.
Officer Ronald Heist - RET.
March 20 2016 -
York City, Pennsylvania - Age 71
Ronald Heist, 71, a retired York City Police canine
officer was one of two people killed on 3/20/16 during a Pennsylvania
Turnpike tollbooth robbery attempt. Danny Crouse, 55 who had been on the
job only a few months was also killed. Police identified 54-year-old
Clarence Briggs of Newville, a retired state trooper, as the man who
attempted the armed holdup at a tollbooth in Fort Littleton, off i-76 in
Fulton County, around 7:00 a.m. Briggs is a former state trooper whose
tenure included time spent with a division overseeing turnpike
operations in the area and ended with him being honorable discharged in
2012. Briggs was fatally shot by police during the shootout. Heist was
assigned to the K-9 corps in 1968 and served with the police dogs until
the unit was disbanded in 1970. An avid K-9 handler, Heist trained dogs
and launched an elite training program for the dogs.
Chief Stephen J. Soares
December 24, 2015 - Windsor,
Vermont - Age 70Chief Stephen
Soares, 70, died on 12/24/15 at
Tufts Medical Center in Boston after battling cancer. He began his long
career in law enforcement as a police officer for the Dartmouth Police
Department in 1967. Soares was the first K9 officer
in 1974 when he graduated the K9 Academy with a
Rhodesian Ridgeback “Sarge”.
He served as police chief from 1983 through his retirement from that
force in 2000. Chief Soares then moved to Norwich, Vermont where he
served as police chief until 2004. He became police chief in Windsor,
Vermont until his retirement last year. He was known for his work as a
canine officer and an avid supporter of the D.A.R.E. He is survived by
his wife, four children. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital , P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908.
Officer James R. Olsen
December 16, 2015 -
St. Petersburg, Florida - Age 48
Officer James R. Olsen, 48 , was found dead in his home
on 12/16/15 of natural causes. Officer Olsen had handled K9'S for the
St. Petersburg Police Department. Officer Olson joined the department in
1990 and began working with the police dog unit two years later. In
2016, he was to become the lead police dog trainer for the department.
In 2001, Olson was awarded the department's Medal of Valor for his
"bravery and decisive action" in helping rescue a Pinellas County
Sheriff's deputy. Deputies had responded to a domestic dispute and found
a woman shot in a front yard. A deputy had been shot with a powerful
rifle and was pinned down as well. Olson volunteered to help him, the
department said, reaching the deputy and bringing him to medical
personnel, all while under fire. He helped instruct other officers about
active-shooter incidents, explosive detection and techniques for
managing crowds. He helped develop "an innovative building search
technique for use during routine patrol or active-shooter scenarios,"
the department said. Olson's police dog partner, K9 Soren, of four
years, will be cared for by another handler while the department
evaluates the dog's readiness to return to work. Olson helped train
several police dog officer teams as a canine instructor and evaluator.
Sgt. Lisa Marie Zuk
November 30, 2015 -
Kalamazoo, Michigan - Age 37
Sgt. Lisa Zuk, 37, died 11/30/15
at the Rose Arbor Hospice Residence after a long
and hard fought battle with breast cancer. Sgt Zuk was a 14-year veteran with the Kalamazoo
Department of Public Safety. Zuk was diagnosed with breast cancer on
Aug. 9, 2013. She underwent 16 weeks of chemotherapy. Upon her return to
work, her fellow officers unveiled a patrol car, lettered in pink and
bearing the pink ribbon symbol connoting breast cancer awareness. She is
survived by her husband, Zachary Zuk and her daughter, Zoey Zuk.
Memorials may be directed to an educational fund for Zoey Zuk in care of
Lake Michigan Credit Union.
Captain Errol Tustin
November 25, 2015 -
Empangeni, South Africa - Age 45
Tustin died on 11/25/15 from complications linked to his injury when he
was shot a point blank range in the throat with a
9mm pistol on 7/16/01.
Tustin was a decorated Empangeni police dog handler. The shoot-out with
criminals in 2001 left him paralyzed.
On 16 July 2001 police officers were conducting an operation looking for
illegal weapons at a home in the Isithebe Reserve near Mandini. Tustin
was searching a man named Mandlinkosi Nene when the suspect shot. He was 31
at the time. Tustin suffered with pain since the incident. He was 45.
Tustin beat the odds when in 2004 his rehabilitation allowed him to do
an office job for the police. Five years later, he fell down the stairs
and injured his hip and lower back. Tustin was left in severe pain and
medically boarded. After 14 surgeries and seemingly endless drug
treatments at hospitals across the country, Tustin went home and had to
readjust his life. Tustin had written about his immense pain, and how
even wearing clothes irritated his skin. Tustin in 2003, exceeding his
doctors’ wildest expectations, he improved and could walk short
distances. But in 2009, his condition suddenly worsened and he became
bedridden. Tustin's K9 partner's name was "Bishop" at the time of the
Ryan Patrick Copeland
November 23, 2015 - Albion Wisconsin -Age 33
Officer Ryan P.
Copeland, 33, of Janesville, died while on duty on 11/23/15 around noon
time in a vehicle accident
in the Town of Albion, Wisconsin
pick-up truck driven by Colleen M. Sutheimer, 25, of Fitchburg,
crossed the center line and hit the squad car head-on with
Copeland on County Road N in southeastern Dane County, just north of
Edgerton. Officer Copeland
was just starting his shift when the crash occurred.
Copeland died at the scene. A medical helicopter was called to the scene
but was canceled.
Both drivers were wearing their seat belt and that
Copeland's air bag had deployed during the accident.
Sutheimer is a
Wildlife Biologist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources employee
who was driving a
Ford F250 pic k-up truck belonging to the Wisconsin DNR.
She had been picking up deer specimens during the
10-day gun deer season when the accident took place.
was transported to St. Mary's Hospital in Janesville with minor
Copeland worked exclusively with the department's K9 Boris, a German
shepherd, since October 2014.
K9 Boris was not in the vehicle at the time of the crash and was en
route to pick up the dog at a kennel after just coming back from a
vacation hunting deer when the crash happened. Photographs and videos
from the scene show the hilly stretch of road with snow and ice covering
parts of it. It's not clear if the condition the road was a factor.
Officials said that
was not impaired, speeding or on the phone at the time of the accident. Copeland
graduated from Blackhawk Technical
College's Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy.
was McFarland Police Department's first K9 officer.
From January 2003 to March 2005, Copeland was with
the Army. From March 2005 to December 2012, he was a weapons sergeant
with the Green Beret and also served as a special forces sniper. He did
two tours of duty in Iraq. As an extension of his Army work during the
decade, he learned to speak fluent Indonesian.
Copeland served 10 years active duty in the United States Army with the
Special Forces, Green Beret and sniper.
While working as a McFarland police officer,
Copeland earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Excelsior
College's online program in 2015.
Ryan is survived by his wife, Amanda
Richter Copeland of over ten years: In lieu of flowers, memorials would
be greatly appreciated if they were made to: McFarland State Bank, 5990
US Hwy 51, McFarland, WI, 53558, in memory of Ryan Copeland.
Colleen M. Sutheimer blood test were negative and an investrigation
estimated her speed between 55-60 MPH.and she was not charged.
Accident was due to slushy road conditions.
Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez
November 18, 2015 - Downey, California -Age 29
Galvez, 29, of the Downey Police Department was shot and killed on
parked in his own personal BMW 335 vehicle in a public
parking lot next to the Downey Police Department, located at 10911
Brookshire Ave., when two people ran up and at least one opened fire
around 11 p.m. Officer Galvez just
completed K9 training
and was nearing the end of
his shift. He
was in plain clothes and
the victim of a botched robbery. A fellow Downey officer who was
beginning his patrol shift heard the gunfire and pursued the suspects in
a Nissan sedan speeding away from the parking lot. The pursuit ended
near Washington Boulevard and Carob Way in Montebello, where multiple
people were detained. Three young men who fled the shooting were
arrested at 11:15 in Montebello after a high-speed police chase on
surface streets and were being held for the murder. The car's driver,
Jeremy Alvarez ,a 21-year-old Hispanic, was taken into custody
immediately, after he tried to flee through residential backyards.
Steven Knott, 18, along with 16 year-old Abel
Diaz, both Hispanic, were taken into custody shortly after both
fled into a home where they were eventually taken into custody and they
were being held without bail. Officer Galvez was a five-year veteran of
the Police Department who started in March of 2010 and was a U.S. Marine
who served two tours during
Operation Enduring Freedom
and deployed overseas, once to Iraq and once to
During the service of Officer Galvez, eight K9 handlers removed leashes
from their dogs and tied the leashes to Galvez's casket.
In lieu of flowers the Downey Police Officer's
Association has set up an account for the family at Downey Federal
Credit Union, Officer Ricardo Galvez Fund, 8237 3rd St., Downey, CA
Alvarez, 21, and Steven Knott, 18, are brothers and
have been charged with murder in the death of Officer Ricardo Galvez and
are being held without bail.
During a scheduled arraignment in Downey at Los Angeles County Superior
Court when family members spoke. The trio's arraignment was then
rescheduled for 12/17/15 at the Norwalk Courthouse. If convicted they
face the death penalty. The trio are also charged with one count of
special circumstance murder and one count of attempted second-degree
robbery. Abel Diaz,16, was charged as an adult in connection with the
because of his age faces up to life in state prison and his bail has
been set at $1 million.
Bashir Ahmad War
August 8, 2015 -
Bashir Ahmad War and a
four-year old Labrador named Mansi lost their lives on 8/17/15 while
foiling the bid of militants to cross over the Line of Control in
Kupwara's Tanghdhar sector. He
joined the army in 2004 and served as a dog handler for several years.
Both Mansi and Bashir
Ahmad War belonged to the tracker dog unit of the 160 Territorial Army
battalion in Kashmir.
Mansi and War were posted in the dense forests
where terrorists from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir made an infiltration.
Bashir who was with the trekker dog volunteered to go with the search
party to track down the militants. They made the supreme sacrifice while
gallantly fighting a group of heavily armed infiltrators in the high
altitude area along the line of control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector about
150 kms from Srinagar. Mansi, a trekker dog, prevented a huge ingress of
militants when it noticed some movement on the
LoC and alerted his master Bashir Ahmad War. Mansi sensed some movement
and started pulling War towards an area where clouds were low. As Mansi
started barking at the intruders, she received an enemy bullet, which
prompted her handler to fire at the intruders, besides calling for
reinforcements. The infiltrators showered a volley of bullets at Mansi
and Bashir, killing them on the spot. Mansi's body was recovered and
after necessary documentation which included a postmortem. During the
ensuing gunfight, Bashir was struck in the face with two bullets, one
in the neck and one on his leg. Mansi was been the apple of the unit,
given the prowess and successes it had in foiling infiltration bids this
year. Mansi was part of the group that successfully foiled several
infiltration bids along the LoC. War had been taking care of the canine
since she joined the Army's Tracker unit. War's body was brought to
the Army cantonment in Srinagar where Lt General Subrata Saha, General
Officer in Command of 15 Corps, laid a wreath on the coffin, before it
was taken to his native village in Kupwara for last rites with full
military honors. The mortal remains of the valiant friend of the Army
were laid to rest at her unit lines at Trehgam in north Kashmir. This
season, Mansi and War had three kills to their credit. They were
involved in the killing of a terrorist at Kaisuri ridge in Tangdhar area
on May 25, followed by gunning down of two militants on July 21. Bashir
Ahmad War . War was from Bohipora village, about an hour from his camp
and was always in the company of his dog. Mansi was laid to rest at the
army dog unit in Trehgam. A wreath was laid on its body too.
Officer Rob Grant
August 1, 2015 -
Michigan City, Indiana
Officer Rob Grant, 37, committed suicide on 8/1/15. Grant took his own
life just days following his arrest on charges, July 28, 2015. Rob
Grant died from a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Grant resigned
after he was charged with two counts of official misconduct and one
count of possession of a legend drug, all Level 6 felonies. A legend
drug is a narcotic that can be acquired only with a prescription. He was
arrested following an investigation by Indiana State Police, conducted
at the request of Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek, who obtained
information about illegal activity by one of the officers at the
Later that day, after being released on
$755 cash bond he was placed on administrative
suspension, Grant tendered his resignation from MCPD.
Grant's body was found by police on 8/1/15 inside his Dodge Ram pickup truck in
the area of County Roads 300 North and 400 West, about three miles
northwest of LaPorte. The search was triggered by a local attorney who
contacted the sheriff's office just before 1 p.m. after the officer's
wife was unable to reach him on his cell phone. A
device at the family's home detecting pings transmitted from a cell
phone indicated the officer's location was somewhere within a two-mile
radius of his residence. LaPorte County coroner's office ruled the case
a suicide and noted the cause and manner of death was obvious. He said
the amount of time Grant had been dead was based on the testimony of a
passerby's observation of approximately when the vehicle arrived in that
location and was dead for about two hours prior to the discovery of his
in 2007 rescued three children from a burning home by twice entering the
structure. He also often ranked close or at top among officers in the
number of yearly arrests. He was a member of the Fugitive Apprehension
Team, which has made more than 600 arrests of individuals with
outstanding warrants. Grant was a 12-year member of the Michigan City
leaves behind his wife
Lindsay and two daughters,
Makayla and Maura Grant
along with his K9 partner "Henry".
Memorial contributions can
be made to the family of Rob Grant.
Officer Zhang Nan
July 26, 2015 -
Somalia - Age 28
K9 Officer Zhang Nan, 29, was killed on July 26 2015 during a suicide
attack by Al-Shabaab that was launched onto Jazeera Palace Hotel at
around 4 pm local time in Mogadishu, which killed more than a dozen
people.The six-story luxury hotel in the Somali capital houses embassies
from China, Egypt, Kenya and Qatar, and hosts high-level government
meetings. Zhang Nan, was providing security in the Chinese embassy in
Somalia. He had been serving in the army for 11 years.
The eulogy praised Zhang's skill and courage at an
event attended by about 1,000 people, including representatives from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Shandong provincial government and the
armed police force.
PC John Poole
June 6, 2015 -
North Yorkshire, England
Officer John Poole was one of the first dog
handlers with North Yorkshire Police in England. He served with the
military police. John was awarded a police commendation after he was
involved in a chase which ended in him having to rescue a drowning man
from the river and resuscitate him. John had been in York Hospital for
about six months. He was first admitted with pneumonia, but died from
vascular thrombosis of the lungs.
Officer Benjamin J. Deen
May 9, 2015 - Hattiesburg,
Canine Officer Benjamin J. Deen, 34, and Officer Liquori Tate, 25, were
fatally shot on 5/9/15 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Officer Deen
pulled over a 2000 gold Cadillac Escalade at 8:30 p.m. for a speeding
violation. When the back up officer Liquori Tate arrived both were shot and
killed with a .40-caliberSmith & Wesson pistol.
Deen stopped stopped the vehicle
driven by 22-year-old Joanie Calloway, he decided to search the car and
asked Banks, Calloway and passenger Cornelius Clark to get out. At that
point, Banks shot Deen and Tate, who was backing up Deen.
Both officers were wearing protective vests but wouldn't
have helped. Officer Deen was shot in the face and Officer Tate was shot
in the lower back. Hattiesburg
residents Tamika Mills and Pearnell Roberts discovered the two officers
who had been shot while driving down the road. The pair got out to check on the officers and called
9-1-1. Mills said. "As we were coming down Fourth Street, we noticed a
bunch of lights. As we came on through, (Roberts) told me to turn around
because she saw somebody laying on the ground. "So I backed up. That's
when we noticed the officer was down. We just saw that one, but in the
course of me being on the phone with 9-1-1, I turned and I saw another
officer across the street rolling on the ground. (Roberts) ran across
the street to check on him. He wasn't all the way alert but he asked
her, 'Am I dying? I know I'm dying. Just hand me my walkie-talkie.'"
The officers were taken to Forrest General
Hospital, where they died shortly after arriving.
Tate was a recent police academy graduate on June 11, 2014
and won the Top
while Deen was a K-9 officer who had been honored
as the department’s “Officer of the Year” in 2012. Authorities were
seeking two suspects that left the scene and identified them as Curtis T.
Lorenzo Banks, 26,
and his brother, Marvin Banks, 29.
After the shooting, the suspects fled and
Banks allegedly fled in one of the officer’s cruisers, a 2013 Dodge
Charger Police Patrol vehicle. Banks did not get
very far and ditched the vehicle four to five blocks later.
They were captured later on
County authorities arrested Marvin Banks at a motel shortly before 1
a.m. about five miles away Curtis Banks was arrested around 3 a.m. at an apartment
complex. The murder weapon was found six days later on 5/15/15
city workers cutting the grass along Railroad Street in Hattiesburg found the
Officer Dean leaves behind his wife Robin
and two children,
12-year-old daughter, Melah, and
nine-year-old son, Walker. The Greater PineBelt Community Foundation has set up two
funds to honor Deen and Tate. The first,
the Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate Memorial Scholarship Fund, was
opened by an anonymous private donor and is designed to help police
officers and their children in the Pine Belt go to any community
college, university or police academy in the area. The second is the
Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate Hardship Memorial Fund, which is
designed for families of slain officers who are experiencing hardship
because of the incident. Both funds will have oversight by a committee
of community leaders to assist with the grant-selection process.
Donations can be made by mail, with checks being made out to The Greater
PineBelt Community Foundation and sent to 1507 Hardy St., Suite 208,
Hattiesburg, MS 39401. Donors can differentiate between "Deen
and Tate Scholarship Fund" or "Deen and Tate Hardship Fund" on the memo
An account for Deen and Tate has been established by the City of
Hattiesburg at The First – A National Banking Association. Donations can be made at any The First – A
National Banking Association location, with checks made out to the City
of Hattiesburg. Funds will be evenly divided between the immediate
families of Deen and Tate to assist with funeral arrangements and other
also can donate at
Marvin Banks, 29, appeared in court on 5/11/15 and was charged with two
counts of capital murder, along with counts of grand theft auto and
being a felon in possession of a firearm. Forrest County Justice Court
Judge Gay Polk-Payton denied bond to Marvin Banks.
convicted, Marvin Banks could face the death penalty of life in prison
In an earlier conviction, Banks pleaded guilty in 2010 to
possession of a stolen handgun. He got a split sentence and was released
from prison after serving about a year. But he returned to prison after
violating terms of his release and faced a pending indictment on drug
charges when the car he was riding in was stopped. Judge Polk-Payton set
Curtis Banks' bond at $100,000. Curtis Banks faced a pending drug
Calloway, 22, Marvin Banks girlfriend who
was allegedly driving the vehicle the night of the shooting, was
originally charged with two counts of capital murder, but her charges
were reduced in court on on 5/11/15 to accessory after the fact of
capital murder and her bail was set at $75,000.
Both Curtis Banks and Calloway could
face up to 20 years if convicted. Cornelius
Michael Clark is charged with obstruction of justice. Banks' older
brother, 29-year-old Curtis Banks, is charged as an accessory to murder,
apparently for driving his brother and Clark to the locations where they
were arrested. The judge set $75,000 bond for Clark.
Abram Wade "Pete"
Franklin, 29, was the fifth person arrested in the case on 5/13/15
and charged with obstruction of justice and hindering prosecution.
Franklin appeared in court before
on 5/15/15 and bond was set at
Douglas Diquan McPhail, 21,
and Anquanette L. Alexander, 19, were the sixth and seventh people
arrested in the case on 5/13/15 and both charged with rendering
criminal assistance to a fleeing felon.
Both McPhail and Alexander appeared in court before Judge
on 5/15/15 and Alexander's bond was set at $10,000 and McPhail's bond
was set at $15,000. On 5/16/15 Jimmy Brady Jr., 22, was the eighth
person arrested on 5/16/15 by the ATF, and was charged with possession
of a stolen firearm. Brady appeared in court on 5/18/15 and bond was set
Marvin Banks, 29, was found dead while alone in an
isolation cell when officers found him. EMTs tried performing CPR
before Banks was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on
12/11/15 at 7:40 p.m. local time. Autopsy results showed Banks died of
severe heart disease, and toxicology tests are pending, Banks' body
showed no signs of trauma.
showed an enlarged heart and scar tissue on the heart.
Lt. Eric A. Eslary
May 5, 2015- Ligonier,
Eric Eslary, 40, was killed in a head on accident while on duty on 5/5/15. The
accident happened at 1:40 a.m. near Idlewild Park and Soak Zone on Route 30
in Westmoreland County when a van was traveling the wrong way. Lt. Eslary was
taken to Excela Latrobe Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:46 a.m.
Lt. Eslary died of blunt force
trauma to the head, chest and extremities. Eslary
was wearing his seatbelt and the airbags went off. The crash happened at a hill which meant the drivers
couldn't see each other coming, but there were no weather conditions that played
a factor. His canine Blek was injured
in the accident. Eslary’s wife had to come and
get the dog so emergency responders could start treating him. Eslay's K9 partner Blek, was taken to a Monroeville veterinary hospital. The
driver of the van, Clair Fink III, 31, of Ligonier and his passenger, Derek
Gifford, 21, of Greensburg, were taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in
Johnstown with injuries. Mr. Fink is listed in critical condition. Mr. Gifford
suffered non-threatening injuries. The van belonged to Westmoreland Pools and
Spas in Irwin. Lt. Eric Eslary served with the Ligonier Township Police
Department for 17 years.
Eric had been employed by Ligonier Township Police
Department since 1998, where he had obtained the rank of lieutenant and he
established the K-9 unit in 2000. Lt. Eslary got his first dog, Ando,
about 13 years ago. After Ando died in 2009, he began working with Blek. His wife
works as a dispatcher for the Westmoreland County 911 center but
was not on duty when her husband was killed.
Eslary leaves behind his wife Mary Beth Taylor-Eslary,
and his children; Morgan 17, Lauren 13, Colin Eslary 11, and Mary Beth's
children from her first marage Kaylee 17, Lukas 14, and Dylan Dewitt 9.
About 2,000 attended the funeral service along with approximately a dozen K9
Blek, a six-year-old shepherd had his back legs
injured in the crash and also suffered some hemorrhaging in the abdomen.
Blek was released from the hospital on 5/18/15 and given to the Eslary family to
live out his retirement years. Memorial
contributions to assist Eric's wife and children may be made to WPPBF, c/o 144
E. Main St., Ligonier, PA 15658 with Mary Beth Eslary in the memo line.
passenger in the van,
said that he and Mr. Fink, knocked off work around 7:00 p.m. hours before the
fatal crash. They had picked up an 18-pack of beer and returned to the warehouse
of their employer, Westmoreland Pools and Spas. They started drinking around
7:20 p.m. “on their way back to the warehouse” and kept drinking until about 9
p.m. Mr. Gifford, a
said the driver drank most of an
18-pack of beer. and had drank most of it at the warehouse leaving two or four.
He added that they gave one of their beers to a co-worker and then split the
rest. When done, the men went to the Beehive Showbar, a strip joint in Salem,
where they stayed for about an hour. The men departed the Beehive around 12:42
club employee described Fink as being “a mess” and said he appeared to be drunk,
according to the criminal complaint. Surveillance video shows Fink entering the
club at 11:42 p.m. He was unable to located his identification in his wallet for
more than two minutes, police said. When Fink and Gifford left the club at 12:42
a.m. May 5, it appeared in the video that Fink had difficulty staying balanced,
Mr. Gifford estimated that his co-worker drank between seven and nine
At the crash site a can of beer was found in the road and the same name brand of
beer was also found in their work van.
Fink was charged in 2006 with driving under the influence and DUI with the
highest rate of alcohol, reflecting a blood alcohol content of greater than
0.16. The legal limit for driving in Pennsylvania is 0.08. State police in
Greensburg charged Mr. Fink as a first-time offender. Police also filed several
summary counts. That year Mr. Fink entered an accelerated rehabilitative
disposition program in Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court. He was placed on
probation for 12 months and had his driver's license suspended for 60 days,
according to online court records. Those records show that Mr. Fink completed
the program in September 2008 and all his charges were dismissed.
On 7/16/15, Clair Eugene Fink III , arrived for his court arraignment at the
office of District Judge Mark Bilik. Fink is charged with numerous counts
including third-degree homicide, homicide by vehicle while driving under the
influence and reckless driving. Fink will be held without bail in the
Westmoreland County Prison. Fink's blood-alcohol content was .197 percent at the
time of the crash. The legal limit in Pennsylvania is .08 percent. He was
traveling between 63 and 68 mph in the 55 mph zone, police said. Eslary was
traveling 34 to 40 mph.
In additional to homicide, Fink is charged with occupant
protection, obedience to traffic control devices, driving on divided highways,
reckless driving, restrictions on alcoholic beverages, lighting requirements,
speeding and three counts of driving under the influence.
On August 3, 2015, the children of filed a wrongful-death
lawsuit. The suit lists Lt. Eric Eslary's three children, Morgan, Lauren, and
Colin 11, as plaintiffs under their grandfather and court-appointed plenary
guardian, Clarence H. Mazzariello of Ligonier. Named as defendants are Clair E.
Fink III, 32, of Ligonier; his employer at the time of the crash, Westmoreland
Pools and Spas Inc. and Westmoreland Pool Sales and Construction in North
Huntingdon; and Beehive Showbar in Salem. The children are seeking monetary
damages, according to the suit, which was filed Monday, one day before Eslary's
widow, Mary Beth Eslary, filed her own civil claims. Westmoreland Pools. The
suit filed by Eslary's children claims that Westmoreland Pools and Spas and
Westmoreland Pool Sales and Construction were negligent in letting Fink have
control over a work van and that Fink should be held responsible for driving 3.7
miles in the wrong direction. The Beehive was negligent because bartenders
allegedly served Fink and failed to stop him from driving when he left the bar,
the suit claims.
Clair E. Fink III pleaded guilty to five charges included
third-degree murder. In addition to the murder charge, Mr. Fink, 33, of Ligonier
pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while under the influence and three DUI
offenses. Eight other charges — the most serious of which was a felony count of
homicide by vehicle -— were dismissed by the commonwealth as part of the plea
deal. Mr. Fink pleaded guilty before Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge
Christopher A. Feliciani.
Sentencing will be within three months. Fink faces a maximum of 20 to 40 years
in prison and a minimum of 6 to 20 years.
Sgt. Jay E. Fleckenstein
April 17, 2015- Sioux City,
Jay E. Fleckenstein, 39, of Sioux City passed away April 17, 2015 at
his residence from natural causes. Fellow officers found Fleckenstein
dead in his home approximately 4:00 p.m. Sgt
Fleckenstein was 17-year veteran of the Sioux City Police Department.
Eik was there, keeping watch over his partner, when two fellow officers
arrived at the house. For six years Sgt. Fleckenstein and his K9 partner
"Eik" were inseparable, and Eik grew from exuberant puppy to trusty
police K9. Jay received his Bachelor Degree from the University of South Dakota in
criminal justice before fulfilling a life-long dream of becoming a
Police Officer by joining the Sioux City Police Department in 1997. Jay
furthered his career by becoming a member of the K-9 Unit with his
trusted service dog, Eik. He was promoted to the position of Sergeant of
the K-9 Unit with the Sioux City Police Department. Jay loved training
dogs and teaching obedience classes. He had won numerous awards,
including exceptional duty awards, and Top Honors in 2010 at the
National Detector Trials. Jay was an instructor for the Citizens Academy
of the Sioux City Police Department, a firearms instructor, a member of
the SWAT team, Jay is survived by his beloved K9 Eik and was given to
the Fleckenstein family. Family requests
memorials be made to the Friends of the Sioux City Police Department in
care of the K-9 Unit. K9 Eik had cancer and had to be euthanized on
Lt. Richard Glenn Woods
March 17, 2015- Pell,
Lieutenant Richard Woods , 48, suffered a
fatal heart attack on 3/17/15 while assisting other rescue personnel
extricate teenagers from a vehicle following a serious accident on
Cogswell Avenue at 5th street, at approximately 4:30pm. A heavy utility
truck had collided with a car carrying two teenage girls on their way to
soccer practice. The mangled car slid down an embankment into a ravine
with the utility truck on top of it. The girls were trapped inside.
Woods was the first responder on the scene. After checking on the girls
and finding the doors wouldn't open, he called for help. A wrecker,
ambulance and rescue workers were immediately summoned. Woods was able
to pull the 15-year-old out of the passenger-side of the car, but the
16-year-old driver was still trapped. When rescue workers arrived with
the Jaws of Life tool, Woods began to saw the roof off the car to get to
the driver, who had a broken pelvis, lacerations and other injuries.
They were also looking around making sure fuel was not leaking. Woods
helped cut the whole top half of the car off. They were also concerned
that the remaining airbags would deploy and hurt them worse. Woods was
putting it where it needed to be so they did not set off the right-side
airbags that didn't go off yet. On the passenger side, the whole side
airbag on the right side hadn't gone off. Woods began working up a sweat
and it was a hot day. Woods then began assisting firefighters who were
cutting trees and clearing out logs to make a path to the ambulance.
Woods began experiencing chest pains and sat down. Woods said he had
pneumonia and sinus infection. Pell City Fire and Rescue Service and
RPS ambulance immediately began treatment by conducting chest
compressions on Lt. Woods when he lost consciousness. Woods was treated
on the scene for about 20 minutes. He was originally supposed to be
airlifted to the hospital but wasn't stable enough. He was transported
to the emergency room at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital where he died
at 5:33 p.m. Lieutenant Woods had served with the Pell City Police
Department for 20 years and was the commander of the Special Operations
Division. Woods is survived by his wife, Susan, and two sons, Richard
Cody Woods, and Jacob Cecil Woods, 14, who lived at home and his K9
partner Johnny . K9 Johnny was to be retired soon and attended the
funeral. Woods was buried with full police honors. A "Richard Woods
Memorial Fund" has been set up for the family at Metro Bank.
Police Chief Christopher Pelchar
February 22, 2015 -
Christopher Pelchar, 38, was found dead on 2/22/15 in his parent’s home in
Wilkes-Barre. There were no signs of foul play, and the cause of death
remains unknown pending further testing. Pelchar had been on
medical leave for more than a year for injuries he sustained in a fall.
Pelchar was chasing a group of teenagers and fell when a second-floor
porch of a vacant house gave way in October 2013. In
November 2012, Pelchar received a partner named Mason, a
German shepherd from Czechoslovakia. Pelchar took care of Mason, trained
in drug detection and tracking. Pelchar used his
own money to purchase Mason, and donations from businesses in Sugar
Notch and Hanover Township helped fund the canine's training. One of his
biggest accomplishments was starting the first K-9 unit in the borough,
where he happily served with his partner Mason. Chris was also a member
of the Sugar Notch Masons, United Police and Correction K-9 Association
where, along with Mason, he graduated from the Northeast Police Academy,
State Chiefs of Police Association of Pennsylvania, and a past NRA
member. Pelchar was known to many as “Curly”. He graduated from the
police academy in 2003.Surviving are his wife of 16 years, Yvonne, and
his son, Christopher M. Pelchar Jr. Family requests contributions be
made to PNC Bank, "Christopher Pelchar Sr. Memorial Fund."
Anthony GiaquintaFebruary 22, 2015 -
Clarkesville, Georgia - Age 40
Anthony Giaquinta, 41, was found shot to death on
2/22/15. Anthony Giaquinta 16-year-old daughter called police from a
nearby store at approximately 7:30 p.m. saying her father was attacking
her mother and gunshots were being fired. Her 18-year-old sister was
away at college. She told 911 operators that she escaped from the home.
As the sheriff officials drove to the residence responding to the
domestic call in
they saw a Ford Crown Victoria approaching them. The Crown Victoria
turned into a yard and spun out. Anthony Giaquinta, got out of the
then doubling back to the house.
Sheriff Joey Terrell and Deputy Bill Zigan entered the garage they found
Kathy Smith Giaquinta dead. Terrell knew Giaquinta because he terminated
him in 2013 after a domestic violence investigation. The case, however,
was not prosecuted, so Giaquinta still had “many guns,” Andrews said.
Guns are often confiscated after a domestic violence conviction. Terrell
posted Zigan outside to watch for Giaquinta while he and the other
deputy searched the house. But Giaquinta, a former police dog trainer
and handler, hid in some trees and shot his two former colleagues.
Zigan was shot with a 9mm Glock pistol,
fracturing his collarbone and gouging his face before Zigan managed to
crawl into the garage and take cover. Giaquinta then moved up to the
garage and shot Terrell in the right arm bicep when he stepped into the
garage to help Zigan. Terrell and Zigan were able to return fire.
Anthony Giaquinta was
later found dead behind his home along with the body of another man,
45-year-old Steve Singleton.
The sheriff and deputy were taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical
Center in Gainesville at about 8 p.m. Terrell was released from the
hospital in a few hours and and Zigan was admitted and in good
Anthony Giaquinta was a former Gainesville police
officer from September 2002 - October 2009. While with Gainesville
Police Department he became a certified K9 handler in March, 2006. With
his K9 partner "Miso" from 2006-2009 he and his K9 had 426 physical
apprehensions, 7 arrests with K9, 473 tracks with captures, 33 tracks
with no captures, 23 team arrests, 840 training hours, 1377 drug and
property seizures totaling $624,027.00. Giaquinta was a certified K9
decoy and Master Trainer with 2,000 hours of post certified police k9
training. He was certified as an explosive detection dog handler,
certified with North American Police Work Dog Association in aggression
control, man tracking, controlled substance detection, article search,
area search, and building and vehicle search. In 2010 he became
certified with his K9 partner "Mike". From 2010-2012 while with K9
"Mike" they had 237 physical apprehensions, 1 arrest with canine, 106
tracks with captures, 17 tracks with no captures, 35 training hours, 687
drug and property seizures totaling $64,522.00. In 2012 he worked for
Aegis Defense Services from January through November and provided armed
security for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan and was granted a
Department of State Security Clearance. Giaquinta then worked for
Habersham County Sheriff's Office as a canine officer from December 2012
- June 2013, with his K9 partner "Max" and had 127 physical
apprehensions, 3 arrests with canine, 87 tracks with captures, 24 tracks
with no captures, 6 training hours, and 380 drug and property seizures
totaling $74,212.00. Giaquinta then started working for Custom Canine
Unlimited in Maysville, GA in July 2013 . Giaquinta's captured of a
fugitive in 2011. The
Giaquintas have two children but they were not harmed.
Matthew Edward Fineran
January 29, 2015 - Kabul,
Fineran, 42, from Summerville, South Carolina was shot and killed on
1/29/15 by the Taliban while on security detail at
the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan. Fineran was a K9 handler and a former
police officer on the force with the Summerville Police Department from
2000 -2004. Also
killed in the attack was Walter D. Fisher of North Myrtle Beach and
Jason D. Landphair of Fayetteville, North Carolina. A fourth employee,
Bradley A. James of Atlanta, Georgia, was wounded in the attack and but
the wounds, while serious, are not considered life-threatening. The
shooter was also killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the
death. The shooter was a Taliban fighter wearing an Afghan police
uniform. He infiltrated the ranks of Afghan security forces. Fineran
was a contractor under Department of
Defense and worked for Praetorian Standard whose company has picked up security
details that were once handled by U.S. troops. He had worked overseas in
Iraq and Afghanistan for over 10 years. He leaves behind his
wife, Vickie Elaine Fineran,
four daughters: Brittney, Paula, Amelia and Josie; two sons: Blaine and
Officer Kenneth M. Bernstein
January 25, 2015- Bedford Park, Illinois
- Age 44
Kenneth M. "Ken" Bernstein, 44, passed on 1/25/15
He was diagnosed in Aug 2013 with stage 4 colon cancer. Officer
Bernstein was a police K9 handler for the Bedford Park Police Department
in Illinois. He is survived by his wife Denise and sons Macdonald and
Maeve and his K9 partner Ciro. Donations may be made to the Robert H.
Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University,Northwestern
University Office of Development, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, Ninth Floor,
Chicago, IL 60611, or MARK-9 (Medical Assistance for Retired K-9s) 1951
Matson Lane, Lisle, IL 60532.
Officer Gene Damian Fonseca
January 20, 2015 - Age 46
On January 20, 2015, at approximately 1345 hours Detroit Regional Canine
Training Instructor Gene Fonseca was found deceased at his home during a
health and welfare check. The medical examiner was called to the scene,
but initial indication is that Gene passed of natural
causes. Officer Fonseca joined the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in June of 2012, assigned
as the Regional Canine Training Instructor at DTW. His military career
began in May of 1994, when he joined the United States Air Force as a
Security Policeman / Law Enforcement Officer / Military Working Dog (MWD)
Handler. Gene began his K9 career as a Patrol Explosives Detector Dogs (PEDD)
handler at RAF Lakenheath and Barsdale AFB, where he supported numerous
PEDD missions in support of the United Stated Secret Service and the
Department of State. In 1999, Gene became a MWD trainer at Prince Sultan
Air Base, KSA, supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Later that year he
became MWD trainer at Cairo West AB, Egypt in support of Operation
Bright Star. Mr. Fonseca was also a Kennel Master at Grand Forks, North
Dakota, where he was responsible for deploying numerous PEDDs to Iraqi
Freedom. During that timeframe he was also deployed with two PEDDs from
the kennels to Camp Snoopy, Doha Qatar supporting Operation Iraqi
Freedom. On arrival to Aviano Air Base, Italy in 2003. Gene was
initially assigned a PEDD, after six months he became MWD Trainer for 14
MWDs and held that position until 2008. Positions held in his military
career include Patrol Explosive Detector Dog Handler, MWD Trainer,
Kennel Master and Law Enforcement Flight Chief. After serving 14 years
of honorable service he separated from active duty at the rank of Staff
Sergeant. Prior to joining the TSA, Mr. Fonseca was a civilian
contractor for Northrop Grumman LLC from September 2008 to May of 2012
assigned to the 64th Security Forces Squadron, Eskan Village, Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia as MWD Trainer for 6 assigned PEDDs.
Officer Brandon Mark Thompson
December 26, 2014- Dothan,
Thompson, 29, of Rehobeth, was killed in a vehicle accident on 12/26/14
in Dothan, Alabama. State troopers were called to investigate following
a one-vehicle crash that occurred on Fortner Street at the intersection
of Crestwood Drive. Off-duty officer Thompson was driving a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado pickup
truck when it ran off a road in Dothan about 2:57 a.m. and struck a sign
before slamming into a tree. Thompson, who was
not using a seatbelt, was transported to Flowers Hospital where he was
pronounced dead at 3:30 a.m. Also injured in the vehicle with Thompson
was 21-year-old woman, Bailyn J. Stewart who was taken to
Flowers Hospital with injuries that
were not life-threatening. A motorist
involved in a crash earlier with Thompson the same night told
investigators he smelled alcohol on the officer's breath, the crash
report states. Demorris Lee Kilow told Alabama State Troopers that
officer Brandon Mark Jackson Thompson rear-ended his vehicle
as he was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Montgomery
Highway and Ross Clark Circle on the morning of Dec. 26, When the men
exited their vehicles, Kilow said he could tell Thompson had been
drinking alcohol. Thompson sped away from the scene in his vehicle.
Kilow followed Thompson and called 911. According to the report, Kilow
witnessed Thompson lose control of his vehicle on Fortner Street and
crash into a tree. Officer Brandon Thompson was a K9 Officer
with the Dothan Police Department and served with them for six years. Brandon was
awarded the highest honor given at the Police academy, The Commanders
Award on July 25, 2008 for exhibiting exceptional leadership,
professionalism and dedication. Brandon was also a SWAT team member who
was certified as a trained FBI firearms instructor. Brandon was awarded
several medals, badges, and campaign honors while serving in the Army,
these included honors such as: Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign
star, Bronze Star medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense
Service medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service
Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, National
Medal/ Combat. While playing
football at Rehobeth High School in Alabama he excelled on the football
field where he earned the Wiregrass Athletic Conference Player of the
year award. In 2003, Brandon was named in the Super Twelve as well as
the Birmingham news First Team Honors while playing middle linebacker
for Rehobeth High School. He is survived by
his son, Landon Thompson, and his daughter, Emerson Grace Thompson and
his K9 partner Rex.
Officer Robert Frederick Zelle
December 1, 2014- Ballwin,
Zelle died on 12/1/14 of lung cancer at the age of 89 at Quarters of Des
Peres rehab facility. Bob Zelle was among the early recruits on the St.
Louis police canine corps. His K9 partner Sarge was a 70-pound, black
German shepherd. Officer Zelle credited Sarge with the capture of eight
burglars. Officer Zelle retired in 1981 after a 33-year career with the
St. Louis Police Department. He lived in Ballwin. When World War II
started, he joined the armed forces. He was awarded the Chief’s Letter
of Commendation four times. His family recalled that he had played a bit
part in the 1961 movie, “The Hoodlum Priest.” Officer Zelle’s and his
dog were in a scene. Officer Zelle retired at the rank of Sergeant. He
is survived by his wife, Roseann La Barbera Zelle.
Lt. William "Bill" Isaac Jeffers II
November 30, 2014- Evanston,
Jeffers passed away 12/30/14 at a Salt Lake City hospital after being
unresponsive for two full weeks. It’s unclear why Jeffers wouldn’t wake
up on Sunday, Nov. 16, around 9:20 a.m., when his wife Sarah called
dispatch, but his condition never improved. Sarah Jeffers found her
husband in bed that morning, his heart was beating, but he wasn’t
breathing well and his breaths were irregular. He was transported to
Evanston Regional Hospital and later that day transported by ambulance
to University of Utah Hospital. Jeffers had apparently aspirated while
sleeping, because doctors found fluid from vomit in his lungs. “He
worked with the police department since April 27, 1997. He spent over 20
years with the Wyoming Army National Guard. Those positions include
patrolman, K-9 unit, field training officer, member of the special
response team, firearms instructor, detective division and lieutenant.
Bill was a retired Master Sergeant with the Wyoming National Guard.
Officer Amanda Laake Solis
November 11, 2014- Daingerfield,
Laake Solis, 39, died on 11/11/14 after a long battle with cancer. She
was a police officer with the Daingerfield Police Department. She was
diagnosed with two forms of Leukemia in August of 2013 and had been
undergoing cancer treatment for the last year in Dallas, Texas. She
worked with the Titus County Sheriff's Department before becoming a K9
officer in Daingerfield. She leaves behind her husband Jeff, her two sons, Tanner Mayberry
and Tyler Solis, age 10, and her K9 partner Diva.
Sgt. Langston "Paul" Adams
September 22, 2014 - Florala, Alabama- Age
Sgt. Paul Adams, 31, was found dead in his home around 10:30 on 9/22/14.
Adams left early Monday after another officer relieved him, stating he
did not feel well. His girlfriend said that he was up sick from 1 to 3
a.m. with flu-like symptoms. She went back around 10:30 to check on him
and found him deceased on the couch in the living room. Adams had been
sick with flu-like symptoms and his girlfriend was trying to get him to
go to the ER. He didn’t want to go to the doctor, he said he would be
fine. Officer Adams was expected to attend a grand jury hearing the next
day. Adams was going on five years with the Florala Police Department.
An autopsy is being conducted to try to determine the cause of death.
He is survived by his son, Warren Russell
Adams and his daughter, Jocelyn Rose Adams and his K9 partner
"Bella". Family requests contributions be made to the Spectrum House,
1455 S Ferdon Blvd., Ste. C1, Crestview, FL 32536.
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood
September 7, 2014 -
- Age 40
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood, 40, was killed in a fatal shooting on 9/7/14 in
Topeka, Kansas. Harwood was transported to Stormont-Vail Health in
critical condition after sustaining four gunshot wounds around 4:45 p.m. He
had pulled over a car near S.E. 6th and Deer Creek Parkway. One of its
occupants drew a weapon and fired on the officer. Adina Mayhew came
upon the scene and saw flashing police lights and saw the officer laying
in the street, alone. Gina
Barron-Jaramillo arrived on scene shortly after the shooting who had
taken CPR classes and immediately rendered aid. Barron-Jaramillo saw a
radio on Harwood's uniform and used it to call for help
saying “officer down” and immediately requesting an ambulance.
When emergency personnel arrived they removed Harwood's shirt and were
trying to remove his bulletproof vest, which appeared to have bullet
holes in it.
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood had been shot three times.
One entering the right side of the neck just under the jaw, striking the
carotid artery and jugular vein, and exiting the back of the neck. That
shot was fired 2 to 3 feet from Harwood. Another shot entered the
right side of the neck above the shoulder, exiting the top of the back
and cutting across the spinal cord. That was fired 1 to 2 inches from
the victim’s skin. Another shot entering the victim’s abdomen, passing
through the heart and left lung, and lodging in his left shoulder.
After the shooting the suspect drove to another location and he called
Randy Allen Ridens Jr., who allegedly picked him up on a stolen
motorcycle. The pair then rode to Douglas Co. where the motorcycle broke
As a search for the suspect was underway, 13 News' Melissa
Brunner received a call from a man identifying himself as Ross Lane and
said he was the person wanted in the officer's shooting. The information
he provided matched an ALL Points Bulletin issued at the time. Lane gave
his location, which was relayed to police. He also told Melissa he
didn't want to end up like David Tiscareno, a reference to a man who
shot and killed two Topeka Police officers back in December 16, 2012.
Tiscareno was shot and killed following a stand-off with police. Ross
Preston Lane, 30, was captured shortly after 8:00 p.m.
and brought to the Shawnee County jail and booked in around 4:12am on
He was being held without bond in connection with
capital murder of a law enforcement officer.
In additional to capital murder of a law
enforcement officer, Lane also was booked into jail in connection with
criminal possession of a firearm by a felon.
suspect, Randy Allen Ridens Jr.,
was located and booked into the Shawnee County
Jail at 3:50 a.m. on 9/8/14 and Jail officials said Ridens was
“uncooperative” during the book-in process.Ridens has been
charged with violating felony probation, possession of stolen property
and obstruction apprehension.Officer Harwood spent about ten years
in the K9 Unit until he was promoted to Corporal in May of 2012.
Harwood joined the Topeka Police
force on June 28, 1999 where he also served as a member of the “Hit-and-Run”
unit. Officer Jason Harwood has a twin brother, Jeremy, who is a Kansas
Jeremy Harwood was among those who responded to
his brother accident in May 2010 after a minivan slammed into the back
of Jason Harwood’s patrol car as it was stopped on a shoulder of
Interstate 70 near S.W. MacVicar Avenue. The minivan then struck Harwood
and KHP Trooper Kody Olson, who were on foot blocking the potential
escape route of two men who were fleeing police. Both survived. Jason
Harwood however suffered nine broken ribs, a concussion, a compound
fracture to his right arm, a broken clavicle to his right shoulder, a
fully collapsed lung and a second, partially collapsed lung and returned
to work when he recovered. Officer Jason Harwood later mentioned
that he was grateful that his K9 partner Magnum hadn’t been in his usual place in the back
seat of the patrol car at the time of the crash — because if he had, he
wouldn’t have come home.
a 15 year veteran of the force.
He received a Letter of Accommodation in
2001, Distinguished Service Bar in September of 2013. Topeka
Police Cpl. Jayme Green also sang songs including ‘Amazing Grace,’ and
‘I cross my heart,’ their wedding song requested by Harwood’s wife.
K-9 partner “Magnum”
before his promotion to corporal two years ago lay down in front of the
casket. The procession
included more than 200 police vehicles with eight K9 teams that lined
the entrance drive into the cemetery. A 21 gun salute and Taps were
played at the burial site. An estimated 2,400 people paid their
Jason is survived
by his wife, Lori Anne Harwood and their sons, Tyler and Lawson. and
also his K-9 partner, Magnum. Memorial contributions may be made to the
Jason Harwood Memorial Fund at any Core First Bank & Trust or the Topeka
Police Credit Union located at 320 S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
Lane, was booked on 9/8/14 and is being held without bond in connection
with capital murder of a law enforcement office and also booked in
connection with criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. Lane shot
Cpl. Jason E. Harwood with
a Springfield 40-caliber
semiautomatic pistol which he pulled from the middle console in the car.At his
first court appearance on 9/8/14 he told Judge
Frank J. Yeoman that he did not have an attorney representing him. When
Yeoman asked if he would like the court to appoint one, he responded,
Ross Lane was previously convicted of
multiple felonies. First on Aug. 19, 2003, he burglarized a building
used as a dwelling in Johnson County. He was sentenced May 5, 2005, and
was discharged on Sept. 29, 2005. Additionally, on Oct. 16, 2006, in
Butler County, authorities arrested him in connection with criminal
threat-intending to terrorize, and he was sentenced for the crime on
June 4, 2007. He was discharged Sept. 21, 2009. Also in Kasper, Lane was
listed as being moved Oct. 12, 2005, to El Dorado Correctional Facility
because of a probation violation. He also was listed as being in
correctional facilities at Ellsworth, Lansing and Butler County. The
final movement listed was Sept. 21, 2009 to an unknown location. From
Dec. 19, 2005 to Aug. 23, 2009, more than two-and-a-half pages of
disciplinary reports were listed for him in Ellsworth, El Dorado and
Lansing. The types of misconduct include threatening or intimidating a
person, battery, assault, use of stimulants, dangerous contraband,
misuse of state property and other things. Lane’s trial is
scheduled to begin Jan. 11, 2016. On 12/24/15 Lane was found dead in his
cell at the El Dorado Correctional
has been charged on 9/8/14 with violating felony
probation, possession of stolen property and obstruction apprehension.
When Ridens appeared in court right after Lane, his bond set at $1
million because the judge said he had a criminal background and was a
flight risk. When he was asked if he wanted a lawyer, Ridens said, "It
Ridens also has a criminal history. He has
convictions on computer crime; aiding, abetting, advising or counseling
theft of more than $1,000; forgery; theft of less than a $1,000;
criminal trespass; and violation of the Kansas Offender Registration
Act, among other things. Those convictions date from 2005 to 2013 in
Johnson, Jackson and Shawnee County. According to The Topeka
Capital-Journal’s database on sex offenders, he was put on the list in
2007 in connection with attempted lewdness with a minor under the age of
14. While in correctional facilities around the state, Kasper listed
multiple infractions he committed including theft, dangerous contraband,
threatening or intimidating any person, along with several other types
of misconduct. On 11/9/15 Ridens pleaded guilty Nov. 9 to
obstructing justice and possession of stolen property — a
Harley-Davidson motorcycle — which are felonies.
On 12/29/15 Ridens received two consecutive prison terms
totaling 27 months during a hearing in Shawnee County District Court.
Shawnee County District Judge David Debenham on Tuesday imposed a
21-month sentence on Ridens for the obstruction conviction and a
six-month sentence for possession of the stolen motorcycle.
Pvt. 1st Class Darrll Robinson
August 31, 2014 -
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
- Age 23
Pvt. 1st Class
Darrell Robinson, 23, of San Angelo, Texas was found dead at Fort Bragg,
North Carolina on 8/31/14. Robinson, who joined the Army in May 2013,
was assigned in April to the 550th Military Working Dog, 42nd Military
Police Detachment, 503rd Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police
Brigade. Robenson received his associate degree in criminal justice from
Howard College before deciding to join the Army. He graduated basic
training and school for military police in December 2013. He was
stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before moving to North
Carolina. Robinson had been awarded a National Defense Service Medal and
the Army Service Ribbon. He was assigned a military police K-9 dog named
August 24, 2014 -
- Age 75
Ed Larcom, 75, of Canton, Pa., passed away at home on August 24, 2014
following a courageous battle with cancer. He enlisted in the U.S. army
serving two years in Bamberg, Germany. He began his career as a police
officer in 1980 when he attended his first PA Municipal Police Officer
Training Academy. Ed and his K9 partner, Baron, were integral members of
the Bradford County K9 Unit. He enjoyed spending many hours training and
working with Baron and became a renowned fixture of the county's law
enforcement community. In 2001, Ed retired from the career he loved. He
continued working as head of the security department for athletic events
at Canton High School. Ed became the Bradford County Chief Detective
until 2007. He then served as a transport officer for the County
Sherriff's Dept. and began a security position for TriCorp until his
last retirement in 2012. Surviving are his beloved wife of nearly 45
years Leslie Ann; Lisa Bailey and seven children. his family suggests
memorials in Ed's name be made to Guthrie Hospice at 421 Tomahawk Rd.,
Towanda, PA 18848.
Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr.
August 3, 2014 - La Feria, Texas
- Age 36
Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr., was shot and
killed on 8/3/14 at approximately 8:00 p.m. while fishing with his two
young children, a young friend and the agent’s parents in south Texas,
north of Harlingen, when two men attempted to rob them, opening fire on
Vega and his family. Vega was shot in the chest and killed and his
father was shot in the hip. The two suspects were identified as
Mexican nationals Gustavo Tijerina, 30, of La Villa, Texas, and Ismael
Hernandez, 40, of Weslaco, Texas. The suspects have confessed to the
crime and the two will ”face charges of capital murder, attempted
capital murder, four counts of aggravated robbery and tampering with
evidence.” Off-duty Border Patrol agent Javier Vega, Jr. begged his
father to “keep shooting, dad,” while the agent’s mother picked up a
rifle and shot at the fleeing suspects as well. The Hispanic suspects
were apprehended five hours after the shooting, hiding in a shed behind
the home of a man living in the area. The suspects had made several
passes along the road by the water when they spotted the group, and
approached the victims and told them to get on the ground. The suspects
were surprised when they discovered that the off-duty agent and his
father were armed. ”The Border Patrol agent apparently kept telling his
dad to ‘keep firing, dad, keep shooting, dad’ at the suspects after he
was already hit.” At some point, the agent’s mother “apparently picked
up the AR-15 rifle and continued shooting at the suspects’ vehicle,
hitting the windshield and other parts of the vehicle as the suspects
Vega Jr. worked for the Border Patrol for six
years and was a Marine Corp veteran. Hundreds attended his funeral and
the U.S. flag, Border Patrol Flag and Marine Corps flag were displayed.
Agent Vega was buried with full military honors. He is survived by his wife Paola,
and sons, Javier Vega III, Jiovanni, and Jarod and his K9 Goldie. The family of Border
Patrol Agent Javier Vega Jr. requests that donations be made to: Javier
Vega Jr. Memorial Fund at Rio Bank, P.O. Box 4169, McAllen,Texas 78502 (
Routing Number 114915447/Account Number 4081153 ).
Both suspects Gustavo Tijerina,
30, of La Villaand Ismael
Hernandez, 40, of Weslaco, Texas
were arraigned on 8/5/14 inside the Willacy County jail library. At
12:45 p.m. the first suspect, Tijerina appeared before Judge Solis. As
Tejerina was being walked out he asked if he could have a Bible from the
Library. Hernandez was brought in approximately 1:10. After being told
what he was being charged with he replied “I don’t understand why I’m
being accused of so many things, he told the judge.They were ordered
held without bail after being charged with capital murder of a peace
officer, attempted murder four counts each of aggravated robbery and one
count of tampering with evidence. Both had been arrested and deported
numerous times and have been living in South Texas illegally. Tijerina
was arrested at least four times for crossing into the U.S. illegally
between 2007 and 2009, according to court records. Hernandez was
arrested and deported at least twice. Tijerina also goes by the name of
Tijerina Sandoval, pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. illegally on July
9, 2007. He was given a 30–day sentence with credit served and charged a
$10 fee. Three months later on October 3, 2007 he was again found guilty
of entering the country illegally and was sentenced to 60 days in jail
and a $10 fee. A year later, on October 25, 2008, he again crossed into
the U.S. and on November 18, 2008, he was given 90 days in jail and
another $10 fee. On December 15, 2009, Tijerina was indicted by a grand
jury on charges of entering the U.S. illegally again. The indictment
says he “had previously been denied admission, excluded, deported and
removed and unlawfully was present in the United States having been
found near Edinburg, Texas.” Court records say he had not obtained
consent from the U.S. attorney general and the secretary of homeland
security to reapply for admission into the U.S. A warrant for his arrest
said he faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. He was
held without bond on January 26, 2010 and was given nine months in jail
and fined $100.
Willacy County District Attorney Bernard Ammerman
is seeking the death penalty against two men accused in the death of an
off-duty Border Patrol agent.
RCMP Cpl. Ken Barker
July 11, 2014 -Winnipeg,
- Age 51
Cpl. Ken Barker, 51,
committed suicide July 11, 2014. He began his career in
1987 in Nanaimo with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In 1990 Ken and
his wife Shari relocated to Winnipeg to be close to his mother when she
became ill. At that time Ken chose another career path and served with
the Winnipeg Fire Dept. from 1991 to 1994. In 1994, Ken returned to the
RCMP and eventually fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a police dog
handler. He retired in June of 2014and had been on
medical leave since October 2013.
He worked with the Emergency Response Team and was awarded the Queens
Jubilee Medal, the RCMP Long Service Medal and he received a
Commissioners Commendation for Bravery. Ken suffered a long battle with
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.He was one of the
first police officers on the scene of the beheading of a young man
aboard a Greyhound bus on a Manitoba highway in 2008. Ken Barker had
separated from his wife three years earlier. Two women rescued Barker
from a suicide attempt in May
but committed suicide in July. He told his estranged wife
Shari that the front door will be open and don’t go into the basement.
Shari went there and the front door was open and she called for him and
he didn’t respond. She knew not to go to the basement. She called then
Ken will forever be remembered by his wife Shari, daughter Kelly and son
Sam and his predeceased police service dog Axa. In lieu of flowers
please consider a donation to the Families of the RCMP for PTSD
Awareness c/o rcmp-f.ca. or Little Warriors.
Officer Gary S.
July 30, 2014 - Hermiston, Oregon
- Age 61
Gary S. Knight died on June 30, 2014 at his home in Hermiston, Oregon at
the age of 61. He attended Fresno Pacific University and the
California Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy. Upon graduation
he was employed by the Umatilla Tribal Police and later the City of
Umatilla Police Department. During his career he was acknowledged for
assisting other agencies with his K9 partner "Moose". In 2005 Gary was
awarded the American Chief’s of Police "Hall of Fame" commendation medal
and the law enforcement purple heart for injuries received in the line
of duty while assisting with the arrest of a homicide suspect in 2001.
He retired from the Umatilla Police Department with a medical retirement
from those injuries. He continued to serve as a volunteer Evidence
Technician for Stanfield Police Department. Gary is survived by his
wife: Brenda S. Knight, son: Travis J. Knight, Hermiston, and
daughter: Melody T. Simmons.
June 10, 2014 - Goochland,
- Age 82
Robert Netherland passed away on
6/10/14 after a bout with silent pneumonia. He served four years during
the Korean Conflict – mostly on the USS Wasp – before an honorable
discharge in 1956. He help start the first Police Drug K9 school in
Virginia history. Bob was one of the five original dog handlers in the
state. Bob’s first dog was Major, Bob became one of the pioneers of
Virginia’s drug K9 program. He was one of the original three to start
the program, and even went on to write the official manual. After that,
he wrote the Georgia State Highway Patrol’s K9 program’s manual. Bob
spent 38 years with the Virginia State police, 27 of which were with the
K9 unit. He retire until 1995. He is survived by his loving wife,
Shirley Lyon Netherland; two daughters, Deborah Coleman and Donna
Roberts and son, Robert Netherland. memorial contributions may be made
to University of Virginia School of Nursing in the name of Denise Kaye
Netherland Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 801015, Charlottesville, Va.
RCMP Const. Dave Ross
June 4, 2014 -
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
- Age 32
Const. Dave Ross,32, was shot
and killed on 6/4/14 by a gunman identified as Justin Christian
24, who was wearing military camouflage and wore a brown headband and
heavily armed carrying two military-style assault rifles with high
capacity magazines, a bow and a knife. A manhunt for the shooter was
launched and continued overnight and into 5 June. On 6 June, Bourque was
found at 12:10 a.m. and taken into custody, ending the approximate
28-hour manhunt. The incident began at 7:20 p.m. when police received
reports of a man in camouflage carrying two long guns and a crossbow.
Openly carrying non-restricted firearms in Canada is legal provided they
are unloaded during transportation. Bourque ambushed the responding
officers with a shootout that left three RCMP officers killed, Const
Ross who joined the force in 2007, Const. Fabrice Gevaudan,45, who joined the force in 2008 and Const. Doug
who joined the force in 2002 and two other officers shot and
hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries were Const. Darlene Goguen and Const. Eric Dubois.
The shooter then fled the scene. Pinehurst Park area of Moncton was
locked down while the search for the shooter was in progress; public
buses were pulled from the streets, and all entrances to the affected
area were sealed. Multiple sightings of the suspect, including by
police, continued in the second day of the manhunt. Up to 300 police
personnel were involved in the search.Pedestrians and
motorists were asked to stay away from the area of the search and
schools, government offices, stores, and businesses were closed.
Residents were later instructed to lock their doors, leave their
exterior lights on, and refrain from broadcasting police movements on
social media sites. The next day, police surrounded an apartment
building and were broadcasting a demand to exit over a public address
system. More than a dozen armed officers surrounding the building and
deployed a robot with a camera inside at approximately 3:00 p.m. Minutes
later, they left the apartment complex after finding no sign of the
suspect.The report that called police over to the building
later turned out to be a false alarm.A police helicopter
with thermal -imaging cameras was searching Moncton. At least two
armored cars were borrowed by the mounted police to transport heavily
armed tactical team members. On June 6, 2014, at 12:10 a.m. the suspect
was arrested by the RCMP after being found in a yard on Mecca Drive.
While being taken into custody, he reportedly told police, "I'm done."Const. Dave
Ross's K9 attended the funeral service and cried next to his handler’s
casket. The funeral service was carried live on TV from the Moncton
Coliseum on 6/10/14. The Moncton
Coliseum was filled to capacity with 7,000 attending. Because of the
large crowds attending 10 more places were made available for people
which were also filled to capacity adding another 7,000 which was not
including the people who showed up along the streets for the funeral.
His wife Rachael picked out the song "Ten Thousand Reasons"
to be played at his service. Const Ross
leaves behind his wife Rachael and their one-and-a-half-year-old son,
Austin — and Rachael is six months pregnant. He also leaves behind his
K9 "Danny". K9 "Danny was assigned to another handler
On June 6, 2014, Justin
Christian Bourque made his first court appearance. Bourque faces three counts of
first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection to
the shooting deaths of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two more. Justin
Bourque had no previous criminal record. On 8/8/14 Justin Bourque pleaded guilty
to three counts of first degree murder.
On 10/31/14 Justin Bourque was sentenced to five life sentences with
chance of no parole for 75 years by Judge David Smith.
At the time of his sentencing it was the longest sentence
in Canadian history, and the harshest since the death penalty was
Lt. Ray Carson
May 28, 2014 -
North Bay, Canada
- Age 78
One of the best known cops of his era, Ray Carson
passed away peacefully at the North Bay Regional Health Centre on
Wednesday May 28, at the age of 78 years. Carson retired from the
Ontario Provincial Police
as Staff Sargent after 32 years on the force. He
was responsible for the Ontario Provincial Police K9 unit for many years
and was the handler of Cloud 1, Cloud 2 and Cloud 3. Cloud II, a
five-year-old German shepherd, is the only OPP dog ever killed in the
line of duty. He was shot in 1975 when he was involved in the search for
an escaped suspected murderer. The dog was first buried at the former
OPP district headquarters in North Bay. However, his remains were
exhumed, cremated and relocated to the OPP Museum in Orillia. Carson
spent four years handling Cloud II. Together they captured 123 criminals
that were running from the law. The two also appeared on the old CBC TV
game show Front Page Challenge in 1974 . He was the beloved husband of
55 years to Audrey Carson and leaves a son, Tony. Donations to the
Ontario Parkinson`s Foundation in memory of Raymond.
Cpl. David Charles Foley
May 25, 2014 -
- Age 53
Cpl. David Foley,
53, died on 5/25/14 after suffering a heart attack and collapsing while
attending church services in Livonia. Foley was with his family in
church when he bowed his head to pray, quietly took two breaths and
Three nurses who were at the worship service immediately began CPR but
those efforts failed to revive him. Cpl. Foley was a longtime K9
handler of the Monroe Police Department and a 24-year veteran of the
He enlisted in the United States Army, serving honorably from 1980-1986,
taking courses in correspondence and serving as a K-9 officer in the
He often brought his tracking dogs, Colonel and Justice, to
Monroe County schools and organizations for demonstrations.
Cpl. Foley, was especially proud recently since
his son, Matt,
joined the police department and just completed
his three-month probation period and his dad was looking forward to
working with his son at the same profession on the same department. He was preceded by the passing of
his K9 partner, Colonel.
addition to his son, Matt, Cpl. Foley leaves behind his wife, Brenda,
his son Matt and two daughters, Melissa and Elizabeth and K-9 partner, Justice.
Const. Joseph Brian Prevett
May 7, 2014 -
- Age 50
Const Joseph Prevett, 50, died of a heart attack
on 5/7/14 at 10:45 a.m. in the area of Loon Lake Road during a tracking training
exercise in Gravenhurst. Const. Joseph Prevett was participating in a
training course with Ontario Provincial Police along with his new police
service dog Timber. Prevett was rushed to South Muskoka Memorial
Hospital in Bracebridge in medical distress and unfortunately was
pronounced dead a short time later. He first became a police officer in
1998, joining the Peel Regional Police. He made the move to Thunder Bay
in 2003, and quickly took over the local K-9 unit. He was paired with
K-9 officer Thunder, and the two served together as partners for eight
years, before Thunder, who has since died, was retired late last year.
Prevett's K9 Timber attended the service along with approximately twenty
other police canines. Prevett leaves behind
Joe leaves behind his wife Joanne (Znachor),
daughter Lindsay (Chad), and his son Nick.
Donations can be made to the Thunder Bay District
Humane Society and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Foundation - Cardiac Care Unit.
Frederick C. Feil Jr.
April 16, 2014 -
Upper Township, Pennsylvania
- Age 82
Frederick C. Feil
Jr., 82, Upper Township, died on 4/16/14of heart failure at
his home. He was with the Philadelphia Police Department from 1966 to
1976 and served as a canine officer and worked with a Doberman pinscher
named Dutch and a German shepherd named Shep. He served as an Army tank
gunner during the Korean conflict, earning a Purple Heart after being
wounded in combat. Because of Mr. Feil's love of the sea, his ashes were
scattered at sea, off Cape Hatteras. Besides his wife Margaret, Mr. Feil
is survived by son Frederick J.C. Donations may be sent to the Seeing
Eye Inc., 10 Washington Valley Rd., Morristown, N.J. 07960 or to
Jason M. Crisp
March 12, 2014 -
Burke County, North Carolina
- Age 38
Crisp, 38, and his K9 partner Maros were killed on 3/12/14. The incident
started to unfold when police went to a home on 5500 block of Fish
Hatchery Road around 8:45 a.m. for a welfare check because co-workers
had not seen the lady and friends told police they hadn’t seen the
couple for six days. When they entered they found
husband and wife, Levi and Rhonda
Whisnant shot dead. Police said they were dead for at least a day. Following the
welfare check, the sheriff’s office named 38-year-old Troy David Whisnant, the son of the couple, as a person of interest. Whisnant was
not at his parents’ home when investigators arrived, but the discovery
of the homicides of his father and step mother was just beginning of
wild series incidents in the search for the suspect. Police say he broke
into a neighbor’s shed, stole weapons and stole a vehicle. Authorities
discovered that the door of a neighboring house near the homicide had
been kicked in. After searching the home, deputies discovered five
firearms – a .22 revolver, .22 rifle, 12-guage pump shotgun, single-shot
12-guage and a .50 caliber muzzle load – were missing. A .32 pistol was
taken from the outbuilding. Whisnant wrecked that vehicle and fled the
scene, then stealing a second car. When police spotted him driving,
Whisnant abandoned the second stolen car and ran into the woods. The
suspect came across a U.S. Forestry Service officer Crisp as he ran and
shot and killed the officer and his K9 Maros at 2:55 p.m.
in an ambush with a 12-gauge shotgun. After killing his third victim Whisnant stole the
officer’s .45-caliber pistol and magazine and fled again. The manhunt
concluded when an Avery County deputy and two troopers with North
Carolina Highway Patrol found Whisnant. They exchanged gunfire. At least
one bullet struck and killed Whisnant at 4:45p.m.
violent confrontation Whisnant shot himself in the head. He was also
struck by one of the officer's bullets. Around 120 to 150 officers from the BCSO, McDowell, Avery and
Caldwell County sheriff’s offices, as well as the FBI, SBI, Beach
Mountain Police, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Avery County
Sheriff’s Office, Caldwell County, State Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest
Service assisted in the manhunt. Officer Jason Crisp worked for the U.S.
Forestry Service for ten years and previously served as a McDowell
County Sheriff deputy. Officer Crisp's dog Maros was hurt last fall
while chasing a bad guy and had broken his leg and had just returned to
service a couple weeks ago.
K9 Maros was cremated and placed in the casket with Officer Crisp to be
Surviving are his wife of 18 years, Amanda Dicks Crisp and two
sons, Garett, 16, and Logan, 5. Memorials, to benefit their children, may
be made to Amanda Crisp at the State Employees Credit Union, PO Box 8,
Marion, NC 28752.
Whisnant had lengthy criminal history and had more than a dozen prior
charges. In February of 1996 the then 20-year-old Whisnant strolled into
Burke County Sheriff’s Department on February 11, 1996 and confessed to
killing his best friend, William Shane Newton, the night before.
Whisnant had been abusing substances, including alcohol, prescription
and nonprescription drugs since he was 12 years old. Whisnant pleaded
guilty 14 months later to voluntary manslaughter in Superior Court. He
was given credit for the 14 months he spent in prison before the
sentencing, and was incarcerated for another year. Whisnant continued to
lead a life of crime, and was later convicted on the following charges
between his April 1998 release and April of 2011: felony larceny over
$1,000, possession of stolen goods, credit card theft, misdemeanor
possession of schedule VI controlled substance, open container of
alcohol after consuming, resisting an officer, assault on a public
official and reckless driving. Whisnant was awaiting trial on charges of
breaking and entering, hit and run, and several traffic violations.
Ralph "Lee" McCubbins Jr.
December 26, 2013 -
Helmand Province, Afghanistan
- Age 43
Ralph “Lee” McCubbins, Jr., 43, of Danville, VA died December 26, 2013
in Afghanistan while working for Pax Mondial contractors. Lee
was shot in the back by a sniper while jogging with his dog at the
The sniper was caught and has been arrested.
McCubbins had been performing subcontract work at the Kajaki Dam
project in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. He was there to provide
security while a hydro turbine was being installed to provide electrical
power to Afghanistan. Lee had signed a two-year contract and was
scheduled to return to the U.S. on Jan. 15, 2013 for a 30-day vacation
before heading back to Afghanistan.
Lee worked for the Danville City Police Department from 1994 until 2009
where he was a member of the SWAT team and the K-9 Unit for
11 years and worked his way up to corporal.
After leaving the police he then went to work in Afghanistan for Pax
Mondial where he handled bomb sniffing dogs. Lee is survived by a
15 year old daughter, Victoria Logan McCubbins. He was predeceased by
a newborn son, Justin Carter McCubbins,
who died hours following his birth in 1997.
Memorial donations can be made to Swansonville United Methodist
Church Cemetery Fund at 16492 Franklin Turnpike, Dry Fork, VA 24549 or
to Bachelors Hall Volunteer Fire Department at 1301 Berry Hill Road
Danville VA 24541.
Jeremy Christopher Johnson
December 26, 2013 -Jacksonville,
Florida - Age
Jeremy Christopher Johnson, age 34, died
December 26, 2013 in his home at Jacksonville, FL. Jeremy completed 12
years of service as a Master at Arms, Force Protection Canine Handler,
MA2, and achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was deployed to
Iceland and later completed 2 tours in Iraq and 1 in Djibouti, Africa.
Jeremy incurred physical conditions from his tours of duty, but the PTSD
he dealt with produced the greater pain and suffering. He was discharged
under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in May of 2007. On September
22, 2011, Johnson became one of the first DADT dischargees in the nation
to publicly reenlist in the military, joining the U.S. Navy Reserves at
the same rank and position he left. Jeremy volunteered with The 6th
Branch in Baltimore City, MD, as a board member and primary team member
on "Operation: Oliver", a veteran-sponsored community revitalization
project. Jeremy Johnson joined the United States Navy in December of
1996 at the age of 19. After attending boot camp, he attended career
training at Fort Meade, MD for training as a military journalist. Upon
graduating in 1997, he went on to serve as a regional reporter in Japan
for the military’s “Pacific Report” In 1999, he transferred to Italy to
work for the Sixth Fleet Public Affairs staff aboard USS LaSalle. In
2001, Johnson was chosen to return to Fort Meade to teach television
broadcasting to new troops at the military’s Defense Information School.
He taught more than 400 Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel
how to report from the frontlines though video, writing and editing.
Johnson returned to duty overseas in 2004 with an assignment as program
director at the U.S. Navy’s Odyssey 107.3FM in Crete, Greece. After 13
months there, Johnson moved to an assignment in Guam aboard submarine
tender USS Frank Cable where he served as the assistant Public Affairs
Officer for a crew of 1,200. While there, he actively brought the crew’s
concerns to senior leadership and helped coordinate international
coverage of the first multilateral submarine talks between Australia,
Malaysia and the United States in Kuala Lumpur. In March of 2007, after
10 ½ years of service, Johnson revealed his sexual identity to his
commanding officer and received an honorable discharge. He worked for
Leon County Sheriffs Department in Tallahassee upon completion of his
active duty in the Navy. He continued to serve his country in the Navy
Reserves at Kings Bay, GA. During his Navy career, Jeremy Johnson rose
to the rank of Petty Officer First Class (E6), and earned three Navy and
Marine Corps Achievement Medals, a Joint Commendation Medal, a Global
War on Terrorism Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary
Medal, a National Defense Medal, a Rifle Marksmanship (Silver E) Medal,
an Air Force Unit Excellence Award, a Battle "E" Ribbon, an Overseas
Service Ribbon (1 silver star), a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2
bronze stars), and a Good Conduct medal with 2 bronze stars. He lived in
Maryland and worked as a speech writer for US Naval Sea Systems Command
in Washington DC. Jeremy is preceded in death by his Iraq war dog Amber.
The family wants to support other soldiers like Jeremy that are
suffering from the same post war conditions, this will be done by
donating to the Wounded Warriors Project (CSRP) or Combat Stress
David Leroy Zellers
December 11, 2013 -
Fort Worth,Texas- Age
David L. Zellers, 63,
passed away Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. He proudly served our country in
the United States Army in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan as a dog
handler. In Vietnam, he was part of the 981st Sentry Dog Company. David
served as a private contract dog handler later in life in Afghanistan.
Survivors: His wife,
Jane; daughters, Cassandra, Verity and Katherine; sons, Graham and Neil.
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
motion to reduce bond was denied by Livingston County Associate Court
Judge Robert Travers on December 17, 2013. The trial has
been delayed to 9 a.m. 3/17/14, with pretrial at 3:30
At his last court appearance
the pretrial date for August 11, 2014 was set for August 26, 2014
because both sides have not had time to prepare for a trial. On August
26, 2014 he pleaded guilty to
four counts of
aggravated driving under the influence and one count of reckless
and was sentenced December 8, 2014
to twelve years
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.
Figo 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 Purple
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.
The Multi-Purpose Canine Kennel at
Stone Bay, North Carolina,
was named after him in on 9/7/15.
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 memorial was unveiled
in his honor on 1/15/15, "Kevin Tonn Fallen Heroes Memorial". 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. On September 7, 2014, Lynsay Fox, the widow of Brad Fox
filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery
County gun dealer who sold the gun that wound up being used to kill
her her husband. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed the
suit Monday on behalf of Lynsay Fox, claiming that In Site Firearms
and its owner, a former police officer, are responsible for Fox’s
death because the gun used to kill Fox was sold to a straw purchaser
-- someone who buys a gun for a person who can’t purchase one
themselves. In this case, the straw purchaser, Michael Henry
purchased the gun for Andrew Charles
Thomas, who couldn’t buy a gun on his own because of his criminal
record. 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. Cpl. Joshua Ashley's
military working dog Sirius was adopted by Ashley's mother, Tammie Ashley,
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.
On May 10, 2014,
Patricia Ann Collins, entered an open-ended guilty plea to charges
stemming from the June 15, 2012, two-car crash that killed Bryan County
sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse. Collins on
4/29/14 entered a plea of guilty to vehicular homicide and DUI charges
stemming from the two-car crash that killed Bryan County sheriff’s
Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse. Chatham County Superior Court
Judge Timothy R. Walmsley sentenced Patricia Ann Collins on 4/29/14 to
15 years in prison with 7 to serve for the 2012 traffic death of Bryan
County sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Robert Warren “Bobby” Crapse. Collins is to
have no contact with the victim’s family and undergo continued
evaluation for substance abuse. Collins’ blood alcohol level was a .138
and earlier had a registered .185 at the hospital. It is illegal to
drive in Georgia with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater.
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 Edward 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.
6/16/14 Amanda Christyn Walters, 25, was sentenced
to two years' probation for helping fugitive Charlie Post elude
capture in the days before he killed Lower Burrell Patrolman
Derek Kotecki. Westmoreland
County President Judge Richard E. McCormick Jr. handed down the
sentence. McCormick instructed Walters to enroll in a high
school diploma equivalency program and not to have contact with
the Kotecki family. Amanda Walters Aunt Nicole M. Walters 39, of
Lower Burrell, was sentenced to two years of probation with six
months of house arrest a week before Amanda's sentence. Walters
was ordered to submit to random drug-and-alcohol testing during
probation and pay court costs. She must pay for mental health
and drug and alcohol evaluations and counseling, if the
evaluation shows the need.
On 11/19/16 approximately 100 people attended a
dedication of a city park in Kotecki's honor for
the unveiling of the new entryway arch. The arch bears Kotecki's
Kentucky artist Stephen Paulovich, a New
Kensington native, created a replica of Lower Burrell K-9
Officer Derek Kotecki's police badge; the 6-foot sculpture hangs
above the new entrance to Officer Kotecki Memorial Park and a
sculpted bust of Odin, Kotecki's canine partner, was mounted on
a brick pillar below the badge. More than 50 people and
businesses contributed to all aspects of the entrance, including
the design and landscaping, forming and erecting the steel arch,
building the masonry pillars, and crafting and hanging the
sculptural elements. The columns supporting the arch are called
cruciform beams because of their strength and cross-shaped
symbolism and also appropriate was the name of the paint —
“honorable blue” — chosen to coat the metal. The road below the
arch will be paved, landscaping finished and plaques recognizing
Kotecki and donors added to the pillars.
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.
The fallen Marine's father, asked the military if
his family could adopt Dino but, military officials initially denied the
request, saying Dino, who specialized in finding explosives, was too
young. However the request was granted to the family's request on
5/29/14. The Diaz family officially adopted Dino in a ceremony held at
Camp Pendleton on 6/7/14.
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. Officer Long's K9
"Shadow" passed away on 11/25/16.
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.
72, and Jared Engleman, 28, who were accused of facilitating the
death of a Berks County sheriff's
deputy Kyle Pagerly, ended in October
of 2013 with mistrials for both in Berks County. Pretrial
publicity forced the cases to be moved to another venue. Jurors
will be selected for the trials again for both on March 4, 2014 and
Senior Judge John Uhler will preside over both cases in the Northampton
County Courthouse. The trials will run back to back. Berks County
officials charged the two men for allegedly helping Matthew Connor
acquire the assault rifle he used to fatally wound Berks County
Sheriff's Deputy Kyle Pagerly.
Authorities believe Maurice Connor gave his 25-year-old son, Matthew
Connor a handgun and $200 to buy a rifle. Engleman of Shoemakersville,
Pa., allegedly sold Matthew Connor the AK-47 he used to kill Pagerly.
During Maurice Connor's trial on March
4, 2014, after the trooper's testimony, the trial went on a two-hour
break. After it reconvened Maurice Connor was willing to accept a
no-contest plea bargain. Maurice Connor's plea agreement was to a charge
of providing a firearm to a felon. By not contesting the allegation, he
acknowledged that prosecutors could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt
and treated the same as a guilty plea when the defendant is sentenced.
In return for the deal, prosecutors agreed to drop additional charges,
including illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy to illegally
possess a firearm, among others. York County Senior Judge John Uhler
delayed sentencing until a pre-sentence report can be completed on
Maurice Connor's background.
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.
Robert Walker, pleaded
guilty in June 2011 and received life in prison. On 1/13/14
Richard L. Long Jr., plead guilty in district court. Judge Terry Doughty
then sentenced Long to life in prison without the benefit of parole or
Oatis, who dropped off Richard Long and Robert Walker at a home to
commit a burglary that went tragically wrong, pleaded guilty to
manslaughter and was sentenced to 21 years in prison by Judge Terry
Doughty. Oatis never entered the home.
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.