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Trooper of the Month
February 1998

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Troopers of the Month/1996-1998
Troopers of the Month
Trooper Recognition

Sergeant Adams
Sergeant
Jerry L. Adams

Trooper Dulin
Trooper
Herbert E. Dulin

Trooper Hardin
Trooper
Don R. Hardin

Trooper Wood
Trooper
Timothy A. Wood

Troopers Herbert E. Dulin, Don R. Hardin, Timothy A. Wood, and Sergeant Jerry L. Adams have all been selected as recipients of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for February, 1998, based on their involvement in the rescue of a female individual who was being beaten and held against her will by her boyfriend.

On February 26, 1998, at approximately 10:55 P.M., Trooper Dulin was awaiting the arrival of a wrecker while completing his investigation of a minor traffic crash on State Road 50 just west of Alafaya Trail.

As soon as the wrecker arrived, the driver quickly informed Trooper Dulin that he had just heard a report on his company radio that a woman passenger was being beaten by the driver of a gray Honda that was traveling east on State Road 50. Trooper Dulin immediately proceeded east on State Road 50 and advised the FHP duty officer of this information. At the intersection of State Road 419, Dulin came in contact with the vehicle.

While pulling in behind the Honda, Trooper Dulin witnessed the white male driver grab the female by the head and slam her into the passenger door. The driver then pushed the female's head through the front windshield. Dulin later stated that he could actually see her hair being blown out through the front glass. Trooper Dulin instantly activated his emergency lights to assist in distracting the driver from further assaulting this white female passenger.

The driver, identified later as 30-year-old Eugene McCormick, now found himself preoccupied with a marked FHP patrol car but refused to pull over. By this time, the Orlando FHP station had been placed on emergency status and other units, including Sergeant Adams, Trooper Hardin, and Trooper Wood, were responding to the area for assistance.

Trooper Dulin continued east on State Road 50 directly behind the vehicle driven by McCormick. Although this was not a high-speed pursuit, it was obvious to Dulin that the driver was attempting to flee.

As Trooper Dulin and McCormick approached the community of Christmas, the suspect vehicle immediately made a quick right turn and proceeded south on a dirt road at an accelerated speed. Trooper Dulin momentarily lost the taillights of the vehicle and decided, as a safety precaution, to wait for back-up units. Dulin was concerned that the driver might be luring him into some sort of trap.

By this time, Sergeant Adams, Trooper Hardin and Trooper Wood were arriving on the scene to assist. The Orange County Sheriff's Department helicopter and canine had also been requested.

With the assistance of the other responding officers, Trooper Dulin proceeded south on the dirt road where they found that the suspect vehicle had been abandoned. The Honda had been left on the property of a mobile home that was located in a heavily wooded area. The residents of the mobile home informed the officers that they heard a female scream and witnessed her being forcefully dragged into the woods by some man.

Approximately 15 minutes later the sheriff's department helicopter arrived, and through a coordinated effort, a thorough search was initiated. The search lights of the helicopter subsequently spotted two subjects in thick underbrush, at which time Trooper Dulin located the male lying on top of the female. Trooper Dulin carried the female to Trooper Wood's patrol car where they observed several distinguishable bruises and red marks on her neck and arms.

Subject McCormick was subdued by the other officers and the victim, identified as Lisa Warden, age 23, was transported to Florida Hospital East.

McCormick was arrested for several charges including; Aggravated Battery, Domestic Violence, Obstructing Justice, False Imprisonment, DUI, Willfully Fleeing and Driving While License Suspended.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Warden is the girl friend of McCormick and that they had been arguing for most of the evening. The argument had turned violent while they were traveling on State Road 50. A review of the criminal history on McCormick shows that he has a past record for attempted murder, concealed weapons charges and dealing in controlled substances. McCormick is presently on bail for an attempted murder charge that occurred at Michael's Bar on East Colonial Drive.

The actions taken by the four FHP officers in this incident were instrumental in protecting this victim from further harm. The physical condition and past record of the assailant clearly reflects that had no intervention taken place, the possibility of serious bodily injury to the victim seemed assured.

 
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