Trooper Brandon McElderry
Congratulations to Trooper Brandon McElderry for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol's Trooper of the Month for January 2005.
On January 5, 2005, Trooper McElderry was patrolling Interstate 275 in Hillsborough County when he stopped a vehicle for an expired temporary tag. The vehicle exited the interstate and came to a stop in the driveway of a residence where the driver fled on foot with Trooper McElderry close behind. After a brief struggle, Trooper McElderry sprayed the violator with his ASR that subsequently blinded the trooper. As the physical altercation became escalated, the blinded trooper continued to fight, even with the violator biting his face.
Feeling the suspect's hand on his firearm, Trooper McElderry attempted to secure his weapon by falling down onto the ground and placing his hand on top of the violator’s hand as the weapon was fired. Unfortunately, Trooper McElderry was shot. The suspect fled into a populated neighborhood with the trooper’s firearm, leaving the trooper lying on the ground injured. Despite his injury, Trooper McElderry was able to radio for help and provide a good description to the Tampa Bay Communications Center. His description aided in the capture of the suspect while he was attempting to break into a nearby home.
Trooper McElderry's efforts to attempt to arrest a fleeing suspect and his refusal to give up the fight lead to the apprehension of a career criminal who is no longer on Florida's highways. Trooper McElderry acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol and is commended for his actions!