Corporal Joseph P. Sumner
Troop B - Lake City
Congratulations to Corporal Joseph Sumner for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for May 2003, based on his excellent police work in the investigation of a DUI case turned Attempted Second Degree Murder.
On May 2, 2003, Corporal Sumner successfully arrested a suspect who was responsible for the near fatal injuries of his girlfriend when he struck her with his vehicle during a drunken altercation outside a local bar. Thanks to Corporal Sumner’s diligent efforts, the suspect was booked on attempted murder charges into the Gilchrist County Jail with a bond of $100,000. This arrest marked the end of a ten-week investigation that began with the initial incident, a seemingly simple DUI committed on February 7, 2003, at 2:35 A.M., when Corporal Sumner was dispatched to a traffic crash on U.S. 129 in rural Gilchrist County.
His investigation uncovered the fact that the couple had been arguing after consuming alcohol at the local establishment. Further, the victim left in the suspect’s car, but then stopped on the shoulder of the road a short distance from the bar. Later, the suspect drove away in his vehicle, leaving the woman on the side of the road. However, he then made a sharp U-turn, turning left toward the victim. After accelerating, he then struck her with the front of his vehicle, causing her serious bodily injury.
In the subsequent weeks that followed the incident, Corporal Sumner completed a thirty-page probable cause affidavit, and presented the case to the local State Attorney’s Office. His competence in this investigation led to the issuance of the arrest warrant for the suspect for his attempt on the life of the victim. If not for his efforts, this suspect would have faced only DUI charges, and may have escaped justice for this more serious crime.
Corporal Sumner acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol, and is hereby commended for his actions. We congratulate him on being selected as Trooper of the Month for May 2003! He is greatly appreciated!