Photo/Story Gallery 2005

Determined Trooper Captures Fleeing Felon

Trooper Lawson and his FHP Vehicle.Trooper Chad Lawson has always been a determined trooper–quick to think ahead about any potential criminal element in his sights. Recently, however, Trooper Lawson surprised even his supervisors with his use of outstanding investigative tactics to solve a serious hit and run crime, resulting in the capture of the suspect in North Carolina.

In late June, Trooper Lawson began his investigation into a crash that occurred in St. Lucie County in which a driver turned his vehicle into the path of a motorcyclist causing a crash on State Road 5. Tragically, the driver of the motorcycle was left blind and unable to walk after the crash. The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene without rendering aid or calling for help to save the victim who barely clung to life.

Trooper Lawson was able to determine that the suspect had left Florida a few hours after the crash, making comments that he would not return to the state for fear of capture. After completing a well-articulated and thorough investigation, Trooper Lawson was able to obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect for leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury and driving without a license. Next, Trooper Lawson was able to review cell phone records to determine that the suspect was in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

Trooper Lawson was then able to get an informant to help him by traveling to North Carolina to meet with the suspect. After purchasing a bus ticket for the informant, Trooper Lawson notified the North Carolina authorities and coordinated the pending arrest. A few days later the informant arrived at the Greyhound bus station, and as planned met with the suspect. The authorities were there to arrest the suspect without incident.

The wife of the hit and run victim was pleased when the suspect was taken into custody and expressed gratitude to the Florida Highway Patrol and to Trooper Lawson for his relentless effort to capture this suspect.