Trooper Carlos R. Velasquez
Troop G - Jacksonville
Trooper Carlos R. Velasquez has been selected as recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for April 1999, based on his outstanding effort in apprehending two (2) armed robbery suspects.
On April 25, 1999, at 6:31 a.m., Trooper Velasquez was working the midnight shift when he observed suspicious behavior on the part of a person exiting a Krystal’s restaurant in Jacksonville. As Trooper Velasquez pulled into the driveway of the business, the suspect walked rapidly toward an awaiting vehicle. The store manager ran out of the door and informed Velasquez that he had just been robbed by armed gunmen, then pointed at the suspects as they sped away from the scene. Velasquez alerted the FHP Duty Officer and requested assistance as he proceeded to pursue the suspects.
By the time Trooper Velasquez was able to intercept the vehicle, it had been abandoned a short distance away at an apartment complex driveway, and the suspects had fled on foot into a wooded area. A quick check on the car revealed that it had been recently stolen. Upon arrival of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO), Trooper Velasquez directed the search for the criminals. A perimeter was set up to secure the area. A short time later, he and several JSO officers apprehended the suspects at gunpoint as they hid in a dumpster in an adjacent Food Lion parking lot.
Trooper Velasquez took rapid and bold action in this incident to apprehend armed robbery suspects fleeing from justice. He observed what he considered suspicious behavior while on routine patrol, took time to evaluate the situation, and was in the right position at the right time to answer the call from the store manager as the suspects attempted their escape. If it had not been for Trooper Velasquez’s alert and prompt action, the capture of these armed robbers would not have been so swift and sure.
Trooper Velasquez is a 13-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop G, Jacksonville.