To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing you in regards to a kind act displayed by Trooper Joshua A. McLeod on the night of 22 July 2006. Today my family and I had spent the whole day in Tampa at Busch Gardens and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We went out to eat afterwards and started our trip home. It was a fairly uneventful ride and traffic seemed really light. Our girls had eventually fallen asleep in the back while watching a Dora the Explorer DVD and my wife and I eventually sat in silence while finishing the rest of the drive home; we were listening to "soothing" music.
During our drive through Sarasota County south on I-75, we were passing underneath the "Venice Connector" overpass when we heard a loud "pop" followed by loud vibrating sounds coming from the rear of our minvan. I quickly put my hazard lights on and parked on the right shoulder. To my dismay the rear passenger tire was flat and needed to be changed. Luckily this did not awake our three (3) girls so we were grateful.
As soon as I started work on getting it changed, we noticed a Florida Highway Patrolman pulling over a driver for speeding. It seemed as if as soon as he pulled this driver over in front of us, he was back in his patrol car and pulling around in our direction. I informed Trooper McLeod that we had a flat tire upon which he asked if we needed any assistance. I told him that it would be nice to have him parked behind us with his lights on and he was happy to do so and even placed his spotlight on where I was working.
Upon noticing my difficulty in loosening the nuts on my tire, he offered me the "tire iron" from his trunk for me to use and my work was made easier as a result. I eventually had the tire changed and asked my wife to return it to Trooper McLeod while asking him for his business card. He retrieved the iron and my wife was back in the van; the whole time the girls never awoke. What a blessing!
When Trooper McLeod returned with a card, we "chatted" for less than a minute, shook hands, and we were on our way back home. I commented to my wife how much of a "god send" he was at that time to ours and it's been almost 2-hours since the incident and I'm still "singing his praises". Though this act of kindness tonight usually gets performed by many officers around our great state on a daily basis, I believe that too many go unnoticed and tonight this one happened to me!
I smile as I type this up right now and shake my head at how great he was to us tonight. I want you to know that Trooper McLeod represented the Florida Highway Patrol, the Venice District, and all Law Enforcement Officials in the great state of Florida tonight with professionalism, friendship, humility, and most of all, a kind heart. We are indeed a lucky people, and the Florida Highway Patrol is indeed a lucky agency, to have Trooper Joshua A. McLeod onboard patrolling our streets.
Thomas M. Fernandez
Port Charlotte, Florida