Corporal Dennis E. Jetton
Troop C - Tampa
Corporal Dennis E. Jetton has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for August, 1997, based on his comprehensive investigation of a hit and run crash involving a fatality which occurred on April 11, 1997, i n Pinellas County. Ira B. Greene, of 7936 Ivywood Road, Largo Florida, was arrested by Corporal Jetton for leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death, after a 4 1/2 month intense investigation.
The only evidence Corporal Jetton obtained from the crash scene was a damaged plastic windshield arm and a windshield wiper blade. The numbers on the wiper blade indicated that the part was made by Delco, which in turn indicated that the vehicle was a G eneral Motors product.
Corporal Jetton checked all area GM dealers and discovered that all GM parts go through one dealer, Quinlan Chevrolet. When Jetton checked with Quinlan Chevrolet, he found out that this part and other parts were purchased by Sunset Pontiac of Clearwater two days after the fatal crash. Upon checking with Sunset Pontiac, Jetton discovered that they had made recent repairs to a 1994 Pontiac Firebird that had front end damage and a missing windshield wiper arm and blade.
Corporal Jetton then obtained the tag number of the 1994 Pontiac Firebird. When Jetton went to the address of the registered owner, he found that the owner was out of state. Jetton then checked the Tampa International Airport where he located the vehic le, finding it with a recent paint job. He also discovered minute samples of blood on the undercarriage and traces of blue paint. The 14-year-old girl who was struck and killed was wearing tennis shoes with blue paint trim.
Upon learning that he had been identified and of his pending arrest, Ira B. Greene obtained an attorney, who contacted Corporal Jetton and made arrangements for Mr. Greene to turn himself in at the Pinellas County jail.
Corporal Jetton's diligence, patience, perseverance, and many years of experience paid off with the arrest of this hit and run suspect.
Corporal Jetton is a 12-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Tampa, Troop C.