Photo/Story Gallery 2004
It’s All About Teamwork
On August 11, 2004, the Tampa Bay Regional Communication Center received a *FHP call from a victim who reported that someone in a Nissan sedan had fired a shot at him and that he had a hole in his windshield. The victim was following the suspects who were traveling northbound on I-75 from the Manatee/ Hillsborough County line. Duty Officer Damien Hunt maintained phone contact with the victim while Duty Officer Wilcox dispatched troopers in the area in an attempt to apprehend the suspects.
Trooper Brandon McElderry responded to the call and traveled to the area where he was able to observe both the victim and the suspect. He moved behind the suspect’s vehicle and followed him to where Trooper Miller waited so that the two could initiate a felony traffic stop.
Troopers Michael Wilder and Matthew Williams soon arrived on the scene to assist. The investigation revealed that the driver was driving under the influence (DUI) and that one of the passengers had launched a beer bottle at the victim’s vehicle, striking the windshield. The suspect that threw the beer bottle advised the troopers that the victim had been driving directly behind their vehicle with his high beam headlights on – that’s what made him throw the bottle in anger.
Trooper Wilder arrested the driver of the vehicle for DUI. Trooper Williams arrested the passenger who threw the beer bottle. The third occupant was released without charges. Both suspects were transported to the Hillsborough County Jail. Teamwork was responsible for getting two violators off the road and preventing a dangerous situation from escalating. Good work!