Major Ken Howes
Florida Highway Patrol
For Release September 29, 1997:
TALLAHASSEE - Today, the Florida Highway Patrol recognized 5 troopers for their personal and distinguished acts of heroism, by presenting each with the Patrol's' highest award, the Medal of Valor! Colonel Ron Grimming, Director of FHP, said, "These 5 troopers responded to 2 separate incidents which involved armed carjackers and exposed themselves to great personal risk and then rose above and beyond the call of duty."
Sergeant Michael W. Roden, Trooper Orlando J. Saavedra, and Trooper Andrew R. Smith, were all involved in the July 8, 1997, carjacking; where two suspects took a female hostage and fled across the state before chase ended with a violent confrontation in which one of the suspects was shot to death. The hostage, Ms. Edith E. Smith was rescued without harm. The suspects were identified as Billy A. George and David D. George, both were wanted by the FBI in connection with a bank robbery and kidnapping that occurred in South Carolina.
Trooper Evelio H. Quinoez and Trooper Carl A. Holm were dispatched on January 22, 1997 to the scene of an attempted armed carjacking. The subject was located at the intersection of SW 56th Street and 90th Place. As the subject made eye contact, he began to run away. Troopers Holm and Quinonez began a foot pursuit of the suspect, yelling at him to stop and put his hands up. The suspect finally slowed down and stopped. As the troopers approached the subject they saw a handgun in his right hand. The sus pect pointed the handgun in the direction of Trooper Holm. Trooper Holm saw the weapon and prepared to defend himself with his issued shotgun. Trooper Quinonez fearing that Trooper Holm was about to be shot lunged at the suspect and was able to grab th e firearm before it was discharged. The suspect was wrestled to the ground where he was eventually subdued and placed into custody.