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Trooper of the Month
July 1997

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

Sergeant Roden
Sergeant Michael W. Roden
Troop D - Orlando

Trooper Saavedra,
Trooper Orlando J. Saavedra,
Troop E - Miami

Trooper Smith
Trooper Andrew R. Smith
Troop E - Miami

Sergeant Michael W. Roden, Trooper Orlando J. Saavedra, and Trooper Andrew R. Smith have all been selected as recipients of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for July, 1997, based on their actions involving the rescue of a female ca rjacking victim.

On July 8, 1997, at approximately 3:00 p.m., Sergeant Roden, Trooper Saavedra, and Trooper Smith were notified by Florida Highway Patrol Troop F and the Collier County Sheriff's Office that two subjects had fired shots at a Florida Highway Patrol trooper on Interstate 75 in the area of Bonita Springs, Florida. The two subjects then took a female hostage and fled in a green BMW, bearing Florida tag EDYSWTY. Troops L and F established roadblocks within their respective areas and Troop E was planning the establishment of a roadblock on US 41 at the Collier County line.

At approximately 3:25 p.m., Sergeant Roden was proceeding to the roadblock site when he observed the BMW traveling eastbound on U.S. 41. Roden made a U-turn and followed the vehicle as it continued east toward Miami.

Troopers Saavedra and Smith were positioned at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Krome Avenue when the BMW approached and stopped for a red traffic signal. Sergeant Roden instructed Saavedra and Smith to conduct a felony stop on the vehicle. As the stop was initiated, the subjects fired shots at both troopers. Shots were returned as the subjects fled northbound on Krome Avenue.

After a brief chase, the BMW slowed and was struck by two patrol cars. There, after a short struggle, one of the offenders was shot and killed. The other was arrested after a violent hand-to-hand fight. The hostage was rescued unharmed. Fortunately, Sergeant Roden, Trooper Saavedra, and Trooper Smith all came out of the ordeal with no major injuries.

The suspects were later identified as Billy A. George and David D. George, both of whom were wanted in connection with a bank robbery and kidnapping that occurred in South Carolina. In addition to these crimes, the suspects were also wanted for question ing in the death of their grandparents. The hostage was identified as Ms. Edith E. Silver of Fort Myers.

All three troopers demonstrated courage and determination which resulted in the safe rescue of a hostage from the hands of two armed and dangerous suspects who were wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Sergeant Roden, a 14-year veteran of the FHP, is now stationed in Orlando, Troop D. Trooper Saavedra, a 7-year veteran, and Trooper Smith, a 10-year veteran, are both stationed in Miami, Troop E.

 
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