Dear Director Czernis and Major Williams,
I'm sure that you are aware of the outstanding job and actions taken by Trooper Michael Bonner (Troop D) on the night of Feb. 7th, 2010. Trooper Bonner single handedly took 3 suspects (in two different vehicles) into custody, who had all been involved in a brutal murder. The way I understand it, two suspects in the first car had masks and wigs on, and were planning on using the same murder weapon, a handgun, on Trooper Bonner after he gave chase. When Bonner was attempting to stop them, they were also in possession of several gas cans, as they were on the way out to the murder victim's body to burn it, and destroy evidence. As Bonner chased the suspects, he himself was being chased by the suspect's accomplice in a pick-up truck. This subject chasing Trooper Bonner was armed with a knife, and was intent on "ganging up" on Trooper Bonner. Add this to the late hour, the remote part of the highway with little traffic, and no close back up, and it makes even a veteran street cop's skin crawl! I was happy that Trooper Bonner was able to take care of business, and through his professionalism, and I'm sure a "Don't mess with this Trooper" attitude, the suspects realized they were up against the wrong cop, and surrendered. I heard a few of the details about the murder case, and these suspects seemed to be hardened criminals who were extremely brutal and would probably consider killing a Law Enforcement Officer to be something worthy of bragging rights. I wholeheartedly believe that because they came up against a Trooper such as Michael Bonner, that the entire episode turned out the way it did. That Bonner did not have to use deadly force, and that the suspects gave up.
I am a 24 year Deputy with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, and have known "Mike" Bonner for probably 15 or 20 years now. I remember when he was applying to different agencies, I tried to push our personnel department to hire him on, but they let a great applicant slip away, and the FHP grabbed him up. Myself, and so many other Deputies and Police Officers at local agencies in South Brevard County have a great deal of respect for Mike as a Law Enforcement Officer, and as a person. Mike is mature, friendly, and one of the most polite and pleasant people I have ever known. I once said to a group of friends that Mike's one of those few people that would be there for you if needed, that he would "give you the shirt off his back.", and no one was even surprised by that statement because we all know that about him.
I am happy to see that Mike Bonner is doing such a great job as a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper. As a fellow Law Enforcement officer who has been involved in a few hairy situations over the years, I am very proud of him! I hope that the FHP can recognize Mike in some way for his bravery, as the situation he faced and overcame that night could have turned out very differently. Thank You for your time and consideration!
Deputy Chris L. Hendrix ID#20
BCSO South Precinct