TRT members apprehend carjacking suspect
at Free Trade Summit in Miami.
Congratulations to Corporal Timothy Brown, Troopers Rafael Lola, Carlos Gascon, and Jose Hernandez for being selected as recipients of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for November 2003, based on their team efforts in apprehending an armed carjacker while working a detail at the recent Free Trade Summit in Miami.
On November 18, 2003, the above listed FHP members from Troop E, were working the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in a Tactical Response Team (TRT) capacity when they were called upon to stop a crime in progress. When the team approached the intersection of Alton Road and 16th Street, a crowd of people ran up to an FHP vehicle in a panic. They advised the group of troopers that there was a carjacking in progress at the parking lot of the Dunkin Donuts. The team immediately went into action. One of the witnesses pointed to one of the subjects involved in the carjacking--a white male carrying a black bag, who was seen walking away from the Dunkin Donuts into a nearby alley. As the troopers approached the subject, the subject threw the black bag into a dumpster.
The troopers exited their vehicles and ordered the subject to the ground. Corporal Brown, along with Troopers Hernandez and Gascon, covered the subject at gunpoint while Trooper Lola handcuffed him. It was discovered that the subject had a pair of his own handcuffs in his pocket. The subject was turned over to the Miami Beach Police Department for interrogation.
Later, it was discovered that the victim of the carjacking had been forced into the back seat of his vehicle by four white males, one of which was armed with a gun. As the victim resisted, one of the suspects struck him several times on his head with the firearm. The victim was able to escape the suspects, and ran back into the Dunkin Donuts to call for help. One of the suspects stole a black bag from the victim's car while the other three suspects drove off in the victim's car, which was later recovered several miles away by the Miami Beach Police Department.
Members of this team acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol, and are hereby commended for their actions.