Trooper Marvin G. Wagner, Jr.
Troop A - Chipley
Trooper Marvin G. Wagner, Jr. has been selected as the recipient of the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month award for April 2000, based on his actions during three separate incidents during the month of April 2000.
On Friday, April 21, 2000, Trooper Wagner, while working FDOT Hireback on Interstate 10 in Holmes County, observed a truck tractor traveling eastbound, pulling a tanker trailer. The tanker’s rear tandem wheel was on fire. Trooper Wagner immediately pursued the truck and stopped the vehicle near the State Road 79 interchange. Trooper Wagner tried to extinguish the fire, with the fire extinguisher from his patrol vehicle, but was unsuccessful. When advised that the tanker was loaded with 78,000 gallons of jet fuel, and after calling for assistance from the Bonifay Fire Department, Trooper Wagner re-routed eastbound traffic on Interstate 10 due to the threat of an explosion. The Bonifay Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire, which caused extensive damage to the tanker, before the tanker exploded and traffic was returned to it’s normal pattern. By being observant, and without regard for his personal safety, Trooper Wagner prevented a certain disaster.
On Monday, April 24, 2000, while on patrol with K-9 Alfred, Trooper Wagner stopped with what he thought was a disabled vehicle on State Road 79. As he was approaching the vehicle, Wagner observed the apparent driver inside the vehicle slashing at his neck with a broken whiskey bottle. The subject, who was bleeding profusely and covered with blood, was subdued after a brief struggle with Trooper Wagner. The subject was transported to Northwest Florida Hospital in critical condition as a result of the self-inflicted cuts to his neck and loss of blood. Assisted by Troopers Chris R. Ellis, Christopher A. McAdams, and the Washington County Sheriffs Department, Trooper Wagner then discovered a dead female passenger in the right front seat of the vehicle. The Washington County Sheriffs Department is handling the investigation into the possible murder of the female.
On Thursday, April 27, 2000, the Washington County Sheriffs Department requested the assistance of Trooper Wagner and K-9 Alfred to assist in a manhunt. Upon arriving at a private residence, Trooper Wagner was told that two people had broken into the residence and stole several firearms. Trooper Wagner, along with his felony team partner Trooper Chris R. Ellis, took K-9 Alfred and tracked the two suspects for approximately 2 miles before coming in contact with them. Troopers Wagner and Ellis and K-9 Alfred apprehended the two suspects without incident. The Washington County Sheriffs Department, who was conducting the investigation, later identified the two suspects as juveniles.
Trooper Wagner is an eighteen-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop A, Chipley.