2009 Troopers of the Month
January | Trooper Jason King
Congratulations to Trooper Jason King for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for January 2009, for his actions during three separate incidents in a single month.
On January 16, 2009, Trooper King responded to a call of a reckless driver on State Road 20 in Liberty County. Upon observation of the suspect’s vehicle, he followed it, watching the vehicle cross over the white line three times. Trooper King stopped the driver. After gaining consent to search the vehicle, Trooper King found a loaded handgun under the passenger’s seat, along with 1.8 grams of marijuana, and an assortment of prescription pills. The suspect was charged with possession of a loaded firearm in the commission of a felony, five counts of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
On January 23, 2009, Trooper King responded to another call of a reckless driver. He clocked the vehicle at 53 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. After stopping the driver, he noticed the strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. During his search, Trooper King found a brown bag shaped like a football on the passenger seat. The bag contained 47 grams of marijuana, rolling papers, scissors, and two marijuana blunts. He arrested the driving. After looking in the suspect’s right front pocket, Trooper King found a metal pipe shaped and colored to look like a cigarette. The suspect was charged with possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, open container, and speeding, and was taken to the Liberty County Jail.
The next day, Trooper King and Trooper Ronny Snipes learned of a break in at a residence in Liberty County. Since they were close by, they responded to the address along with Liberty County Sheriff’s deputies. The residence was searched, but no one was found. Among the items found was a loaded handgun. Trooper King and the others learned that the burglary suspect was seen behind some apartments nearby, so they responded to the area. They were told by two women that the suspect had gone into the woods. The troopers and deputies approached the woods, finding the suspect coming out of the woods carrying a gray plastic bag in one hand and a beer can in another. The suspect was ordered to get down on the ground. After several commands, the suspect took three steps toward them and dropped to the ground. He was taken into custody. Inside the bag was a loaded Smith & Wesson .357 handgun and a pink daisy BB gun. The subject was turned over to the Liberty County Sheriff’s office where he was charged with armed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling and grand theft of a firearm.
Trooper King is to be commended for his actions and his commitment to the safety of the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for January 2009.
February | Corporal Jessie Stalnaker
On February 20, 2009, while Corporal Jessie Stalnaker was working SOAR overtime in Columbia County patrolling Interstate 75, he was notified of a robbery that had occurred at a local truck stop off US 441 in Ellisville. A call was received at the Jacksonville Regional Communications center that the subject who committed this robbery was traveling northbound on I-75 from the Ellisville area. The caller was following the subject and led Corporal Stalnaker to the vehicle on I-75. Corporal Stalnaker caught up to the vehicle as it exited I-75 and pulled into a gas station at State Road 47 and I-75. Corporal Stalnaker conducted a traffic stop with the assistance of Trooper John Tillie and detained the subjects. During this traffic stop it was discovered that the subjects had stolen tools and other property from the truck stop. It was also discovered that the subjects had stolen property in their vehicle from another local business. Corporal Stalnaker and Trooper Tillie summoned the Columbia County Sheriff’s office to respond to their location. The Columbia County Sheriff’s office worked the robbery case and made three arrests in this case. Corporal Stalnaker added an additional arrest charge to the driver of the vehicle for driving while license suspended.
Later in the afternoon, Corporal Stalnaker was operating stationary radar on I-75 just south of the Ellisville exit. While monitoring northbound traffic, he clocked a driver’s vehicle speeding in the northbound lanes. While Corporal Stalnaker was attempting to overtake this vehicle, the driver exited northbound I-75 onto northbound State Road 25 (US 441). Corporal Stalnaker stopped the driver as he pulled into a gas station parking lot. As the vehicle came to a stop, the driver of the vehicle exited and fled on foot into the wooded area. Corporal Stalnaker summoned via radio for assistance. During this time Corporal Stalnaker detained the passenger and questioned him. Corporal Stalnaker was able to obtain the driver’s name from the passenger.
Upon a computer check of the driver’s name, it was determined that the subject was wanted for felony attempted murder and aggravated assault with a weapon. At this time a multi-agency search was conducted in the wooded area near the gas station. A K-9 was used to track the subject through the woods. He was soon apprehended and placed into custody without any further incident.
For his excellent police work in both incidences, Corporal Stalnaker is to be commended for his dedication and job performance. Corporal Stalnaker was able to obtain and secure the property that was stolen from its rightful owner and was also able to place in custody a dangerous wanted criminal. Congratulations to Corporal Stalnaker for being selected Trooper of the Month for February 2009.
March | Trooper Ed Lohman and Trooper Stuart Campbell
Congratulations to Trooper Ed Lohman and Trooper Stuart Campbell for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Troopers of the Month for March 2009, for their action during a single month.
On March 28, 2009, Troopers Stuart Campbell and Ed Lohman were at the Canoe Creek Service Plaza on the Florida Turnpike when they were advised of a patron at the service plaza in cardiac arrest. Both troopers reacted quickly to locate the subject, who was on the ground near the northbound entrance of the plaza. After ensuring that EMS had been notified of the situation, the troopers worked quickly to revive the male victim. Trooper Campbell performed CPR while Trooper Lohman retrieved an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) from the service plaza. The AED was used, the victim was resuscitated and able to breathe on his own. The troopers continued to monitor him until Osceola County EMS arrived.
Osceola County EMS credited Trooper Campbell and Trooper Lohman’s actions with saving the victim’s life. Their quick response and knowledge reflect positively on themselves and the Florida Highway Patrol.
Trooper Campbell and Trooper Lohman are to be commended for their actions and their commitment to the safety of the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Troopers of the Month for March 2009.
April | Trooper Danyen Komorek
Congratulations to Trooper Danyen Komorek for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for April 2009, for her actions during one single incident in a month.
On April 15, 2009, Trooper Danyen Komorek was advised by the Florida Highway Patrol Communications Center of a passenger van that was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Nassau County. The vehicle had been on the wrong side of the road for approximately 5 miles. As Trooper Komorek drove northbound onto the Interstate she observed smoke coming from a wooded area on the east shoulder of the roadway. As she approached the area she observed a passenger van on fire. The van had apparently traveled off the roadway, down an embankment, through a ditch and had struck a large tree. Without hesitation Trooper Komorek exited her patrol car and ran towards the burning vehicle, which was resting in a ditch filled with water approximately three feet deep. As she entered the water she observed a disoriented male driver behind the wheel with facial injuries. Trooper Komorek opened the driver’s door and tried to communicate with the driver, whom was unresponsive and unaware of his present situation. As the fire quickly progressed to the engine compartment and windshield area of the vehicle, Trooper Komorek quickly grabbed the driver and pulled him to safety.
Trooper Komorek, with the assistance of FDOT Motor Carrier Compliance Officer Donald Horne placed the driver on the grass shoulder and provided medical treatment until Nassau County Fire and Rescue arrived. The Nassau County Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire and treated the driver for his injuries. The driver was then transported to Shands Hospital in Jacksonville for further treatment. Trooper Komorek’s Investigation later revealed that the driver had suffered from a severe diabetic reaction, which was the reason he was disoriented and had no memory of what had taken place. Had it not been for Trooper Komorek being in the right place at the right time, for her heroic, quick and unselfish actions responding to this life-threatening situation, the driver may not have survived.
Trooper Komorek is to be commended for her actions and her commitment to the safety of the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for April 2009.
May | Corporal Michael Tucker
Congratulations for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for May 2009, for your actions during an incident in a single month.
On October 7, 2007, Corporal Tucker responded to a report of a traffic fatality in the Brent community of Escambia County. It appeared that the victim, a female, had somehow fallen from the vehicle and was subsequently run over by the same vehicle before it came to rest after striking a utility pole. The preliminary investigation lead authorities to believe that the victim, who was also the vehicle owner, had, at the time been the passenger and that the driver had fled the scene on foot after striking the pole.
Corporal Tucker immediately recognized that the evidence was pointing toward the incident being an intentional act. It was determined that the victim may have been pushed, or was actually a pedestrian, and was run over deliberately by an unknown driver. Corporal Tucker then pursued the case as a traffic fatality and continued the investigation. A witness to the crash also informed Corporal Tucker that it appeared that the vehicle had struck and run over the victim, then struck the pole. A male subject was observed fleeing on foot. After locating and interviewing witnesses and family members of the victim Corporal Tucker learned that the victim’s ex-husband had made threats toward her.
As Corporal Tucker uncovered more information he became convinced that the offence was indeed an intentional act. He conveyed this information to the office of the state attorney. He also focused his attention on the ex-husband and obtained a search warrant to gather DNA from the driver’s airbag that was deployed in the crash. The suspect had initially denied any involvement with the incident, being with the victim or at the crash scene. Through Corporal Tucker’s diligence and determination he was able to build a strong enough case to arrest and charge the suspect with 2nd degree murder, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a crash involving death, and violation of an injunction for domestic violence. On April 15, 2009, the suspect was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 30 years in a state prison.
Corporal Tucker is to be commended for his diligence and initiative in looking beyond the initial findings and investigating further to solve this case. Corporal Tucker is commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for May 2009.
June | Trooper Philippe LeBrun
Congratulations to Trooper Philippe LeBrun for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for June 2009, for his actions during an incident in a single month.
On June 13, 2009 Trooper LeBrun was parked in his patrol vehicle at the Navarre Park parking lot observing traffic on SR 30. This location was chosen based on the uprising of serious motor vehicle accidents in the area. As Trooper LeBrun looked to the south he observed a capsized vessel at least 200 yards off shore. On this particular day the sea conditions were not the best with extreme gusts of wind coming from the southwest. Trooper LeBrun secured his patrol vehicle and proceeded to the shore line to get a better view of the situation. Using his binoculars he was able to see at least one victim in the water. The victim, who was barely visible, was attempting to maintain a hold on the vessel.
Trooper LeBrun then informed dispatch of his location and advised that fire rescue with water rescue equipment was needed. Due to weather conditions on that day dispatch did not receive the full message. Trooper LeBrun returned to his patrol vehicle to send the message via car radio and upon his return to the shoreline he found the victim had become separated from the vessel. Trooper Lebrun felt that the victims rescue could not wait until water rescue personnel arrived so he prepared to enter the water himself. The victim was being propelled eastward and it seemed as if this task was going to be impossible. A fire truck with two emergency personnel had arrived and Trooper LeBrun directed them to keep eye contact with the victim while he prepared to enter the water.
As Trooper LeBrun repositioned himself to save the victim more emergency personnel appeared. One of the EMT’s informed Trooper LeBrun that they were a certified lifeguard and took his place entering the water. He continued to coordinate the rescue from shore. As the victim was brought back to safety several bystanders rendered assistance. After assuring that the victim was out of harm’s way Trooper LeBrun secured the capsized vessel so that it would not be hazardous to others. Trooper LeBrun is commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida.
Trooper LeBrun is to be commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for June 2009.
July | Trooper Booker Ferrell
Congratulations to Trooper Booker Ferrell for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for July 2009, for his actions during two high profile arrests in a single month.
On July 25, 2009, Trooper Ferrell stopped a vehicle on Interstate 75, which had been clocked by a Charlotte County Sheriff’s office air unit at 98 MPH. A search of the vehicle revealed 63 marijuana plants and 16.5 grams of amphetamines. The driver and the passenger were both arrested and transported to the Lee County Jail and charged with Unlawful Speed, Possession of a Firearm during a Criminal Offense, Trafficking Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Amphetamines and Possession of Paraphernalia.
Further, on July 31, the Ft. Myers Regional Communications Center received a BOLO for an armed robbery suspect traveling northbound on I-75. Trooper Ferrell observed and attempted to stop the vehicle but lost sight of it. Trooper Vanarsdale and Ferrell then located the vehicle a short time later and initiated a pursuit resulting in the arrest of all three occupants. Trooper Ferrell’s courage, work ethic and immediate decision making, have resulted in the apprehension of five dangerous criminals during the month of July.
Trooper Ferrell is commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for July 2009.
August | Trooper Pauline Oneyear
Congratulations to Trooper Pauline Oneyear for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for August 2009, for her actions during an in-progress domestic violence crime.
On Sunday, August 22, Trooper Pauline E. Oneyear responded to I-95 northbound at the Oslo Road overpass in Indian River County. Trooper Oneyear arrived and, after observing the physical injuries to the female victim, immediately took the aggressive male into custody. Trooper Oneyear’s investigation revealed that the couple was married, but had separated due to a previous domestic violence incident. Trooper Oneyear’s investigation revealed that the suspect had forced the victim and their 3-year-old child into his truck at a Wal-Mart earlier that day. The suspect had disabled the truck’s doors so they could not be opened from the inside, thus preventing its passengers from exiting. The victim and her child were kept against their will as the suspect drove them to an unknown destination. The victim claimed that the suspect repeatedly threatened to kill her while he drove and continued to do so until the truck became disabled at the Oslo Road overpass.
Trooper Oneyear observed multiple bruises and injuries on the female victim’s neck, arms and legs during the investigation. The bruises to the female victim’s neck were consistent with strangulation, Trooper Oneyear summoned Indian River County EMS to evaluate the victim, but she refused treatment. The victim and her child were picked up by a family friend and removed from the scene to a safe, undisclosed location.
The suspect was transported to the Indian River County jail where he was booked for the following charges; False Imprisonment of an Adult, False Imprisonment of a Child, Felony Battery / Domestic Battery by Strangulation, Assault, Battery, Domestic Violence and Use of a Motor Vehicle in the Commission of a Felony.
Trooper Oneyear’s actions during this incident demonstrated her commitment to the Florida Highway Patrol’s values of Courtesy, Service and Protection and to making “A Safer Florida.” Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for August 2009.
September | Trooper Eddie Elmore
Congratulations to Trooper Eddie Elmore for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for September 2009, for his actions during a traffic stop.
Trooper Elmore was working stationary radar and clocked a vehicle at a high rate of speed. Upon stopping the vehicle he observed a female passenger in the back seat exhibiting signs of distress. Trooper Elmore questioned the driver and determined that the female passenger suffered from a litany of ailments including heart problems. The passenger then stated that her chest was hurting and she began having trouble breathing. Trooper Elmore immediately summoned emergency medical services. Almost immediately thereafter, the female passenger began to go into convulsions and then became unresponsive.
Trooper Elmore extracted her from the rear of the vehicle and checked her vital signs. He found a pulse but no respiration. Trooper Elmore gave the passenger three rescue breaths and checked her vital signs again. This time he found no sign of life and administered CPR to the female passenger.
After two rounds of CPR the female passenger began to breathe on her own and showed signs of improvement. EMS arrived and transported her to the hospital.
Trooper Elmore is to be commended for his actions and his commitment to the safety of the people of Florida.
Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for September 2009.
October | Trooper Kurt Glaenzer
Congratulations to Trooper Kurt Glaenzer for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for October 2009, for his action during an incident in a single month.
On October 10, 2009, Trooper Glaenzer was at the Volusia Square Mall with his family. He had just sat down to enjoy a meal when he noticed a woman in a wheelchair coughing and having trouble breathing. Trooper Glaenzer observed another person trying to help the woman and offered assistance. Reverting back to his previous training, he was able to recognize the woman’s symptoms as an airway obstruction. At this time he also noticed that the person assisting the woman was having difficulty clearing her airway. Trooper Glaenzer immediately intervened; requesting that someone “call 911”.
Trooper Glaenzer then moved into position behind the woman and prepared to perform the Heimlich maneuver. At this time the woman was unable to respond when asked questions. He administered the Heimlich maneuver and was able to clear the woman’s airway allowing her to breathe again. He then stayed with her until advanced care arrived.
Trooper Glaenzer were referred to as a “Hero” by onlookers and family. Without his quick response and decisive action there would have been grave consequences to this incident. Trooper Glaenzer is commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida.
Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for October 2009.
November | Corporal Lee Ali
Congratulations to Corporal Lee F. Ali for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for November 2009, for his actions during a single incident.
On November 15, 2009 and while off duty, Corporal Lee Ali noticed a vehicle in the median of CR 540-A with a female slumped over the wheel. Corporal Ali stopped to check on the female’s well being and found the car in gear and the driver having a seizure. Corporal Ali rendered aid and contacted emergency services who responded and provided medical assistance to the female.
Corporal Ali acted within the highest standards set forth by the Florida Highway Patrol, even though he was not on duty at the time. Corporal Ali is to be commended for his actions and his commitment to the safety of the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for November 2009.
December | Trooper Joshua McLeod
Congratulations to Trooper Joshua McLeod for being selected as the Florida Highway Patrol Trooper of the Month for December 2009, for his actions during an incident while off duty.
On Saturday, November 14, 2009, Trooper McLeod was off duty and at his residence in Jacksonville when an unknown Hispanic male came to the front door screaming frantically for help. Trooper McLeod inquired as to the nature of the problem and learned that the person had a friend at a nearby residence whom had cut himself severely with an electric saw and was bleeding profusely.
While following the citizen back to the residence, Trooper McLeod notified the Jacksonville Regional Communications Center (JRCC) via FHP radio and requested that rescue personnel respond. After arriving at the residence, Trooper McLeod made contact with the injured man, along with several other bystanders. The bystanders were screaming frantically for someone to help, although no one had dialed 911.
The injured person was on his knees, bent over, and face down in a pool of blood. Trooper McLeod determined that the injured man had a severe laceration to his wrist, hand, and middle finger. Trooper McLeod then assisted the person by elevating his hand upward, and immediately began to render first aid using supplies from his FHP trauma bag. Jacksonville Fire Rescue personnel arrived a few minutes later and transported the injured person to Shands Trauma Center. Trooper McLeod later conducted a follow up inquiry and learned that the injured man did not lose his hand, but had sustained severe nerve damage from the accident.
Trooper McLeod’s quick action provided assurance in this potentially fatal situation. He maintained his composure, contacted the appropriate rescue personnel, and offered calming reassurance to the victim and several bystanders.
Trooper McLeod is commended for his actions during this incident and his demonstrated commitment to the people of Florida. Congratulations for being selected Trooper of the Month for December 2009.
Dave Kerner, Executive Director