Photo/Story Gallery 2005

Seat Belt Citation Leads to Attempted Murder Charge

Trooper of the Month – December 2004

Trooper PimentelCongratulations to Trooper Christian Pimentel for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for December 2004, based on a traffic stop which lead to the arrest of two suspects who were wanted for attempted murder.

On December 20, 2004, Trooper Pimentel was contacted by a detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office who advised him that the handgun he had found during a recent traffic stop had been used in a drive-by shooting where a subject had been shot. They advised that since Trooper Pimentel had issued the passenger a citation for the seat belt violation, they were able to successfully link the passenger to being in the car with the gun at the time of the shooting. Both the driver and passenger were arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Trooper Pimentel demonstrated excellent police work while conducting a traffic stop on October 3, 2004. Trooper Pimentel was patrolling Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County when he stopped a vehicle for a faulty equipment violation. When Trooper Pimentel ran a computer check of the driver and passenger, he discovered that the driver was wanted for arrest. Trooper Pimentel immediately arrested the driver and secured him in his patrol car. During a search of the suspect’s vehicle, Trooper Pimentel found a handgun, which he seized and turned over to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for safekeeping. The passenger was issued a citation for not wearing a seat belt and the vehicle was towed away prior to Trooper Pimentel taking the suspect to jail for booking.

Trooper Pimentel’s performance of looking past the traffic stop and going the extra mile helped remove two criminals from our roadways. Pimentel is an 8-year veteran of the Florida Highway Patrol assigned to Troop C-Tampa.