Trooper Gerald Leandre
Troop E - Miami
Congratulations to Trooper Gerald Leandre for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for February 2008. Trooper Leandre's quick thinking and appropriate actions led to the apprehension of two suspects, one of them armed, and the recovery of stolen property.
On February 13, 2008, Trooper Gerald Leandre observed a white Ford Crown Victoria with emergency lights on the front windshield. It appeared to be an unmarked police vehicle. Trooper Leandre observed the passenger throw what appeared to be a black bag into a nearby canal. A computer check of the vehicle tag revealed the vehicle was privately owned.
Trooper Leandre activated his emergency equipment in order to stop the vehicle, which fled in an attempt to elude him. He pursued until the vehicle turned into a residential neighborhood at which time he terminated attempts to stop the vehicle. A few moments later he saw the vehicle enter a public parking lot. The driver exited the automobile and was taken into custody by Trooper Leandre. The passenger was not in the vehicle, but a witness saw the passenger jump out of the vehicle earlier and gave a description. The passenger was also apprehended several minutes later.
Later it was discovered that both subjects had committed an armed robbery. The victim stated that she had just made a cash withdrawal of $2,400 and had stopped to refuel her vehicle. One of the subjects entered the vehicle with a handgun and demanded the cash from her, advising that she stay quiet or be killed. The subject then exited her vehicle with the cash in a black bag and fled the scene in the white Ford Crown Victoria, which she thought was a police vehicle.
Upon further inspection of the subject vehicle it was discovered that the blue and red lights on the dash were operational and a pair of handcuffs were on the spot light handle. The vehicle also had a prisoner partition installed and dark tint on the windows.
The black bag was retrieved from the canal and was identified by the victim as the stolen bag, and the $2,400 was recovered from the pant pocket of the passenger.
Trooper Gerald Leandre, acted in the highest tradition of the Florida Highway Patrol. He is commended for his brave and prudent actions, and is congratulated for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month.