Corporal David Altman
Deputy Edward Becht
Deputy Harry Cieszynksi
Sergeant Robert Edwards
Corrections Deputy Angela Harris
Major Alex Herrera
Corporal Evan Hightower
Lieutenant Byron Keck
Major Brandon Lanza
PST Mary Proctor
Major Carlos Reyes
Agent Don Reynolds
Sergeant Kevin Roberts
Applications Analyst Julie Stimmell
Deputy Terry Turner
Lieutenant Rob Vitaliano
Lieutenant Kimberly Wilson
CSI Virginia Casey
Sergeant Tsechu Chou
Corporal Todd Maddox
Sergeant Angela Matthews
Deputy Brandy Torquato
Commander Andy Walters
Records Technician II Mary Young
Commander James JD Donn
The Lucy Ross Award
This award signifies that the recipient has consistently demonstrated throughout their career the same qualities demonstrated by the late Sgt. Lucille (Lucy) Ross during her career. The criteria requirements are: dedication to community service, excellence in profession, compassion and high level of caring especially concerning children, and being of service to crime victims and their families.
2020 Volunteer of the Year
This recipient has made a significant contribution to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office by strengthening the relationship with the community it serves through devotion to duty, commitment to service and community involvement.
2020 Citizen of the Year
This recipient is a member of the community selected for outstanding service and commitment to the citizens of Brevard County and for continued support of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
2020 Special Recognition Award
This employee consistently demonstrates a commitment to excellence with selfless devotion to duty and has had a significant impact on the law enforcement community.
MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARDS
This award signifies that the recipient displayed unusual thoroughness, determination, and/or initiative while carrying out his/her duties. This award is for service rendered in the line of duty where the employee, because of his/her diligence and perseverance, performs a difficult task in which a serious crime is prevented, significant property is protected, human life is protected, or causes the successful closure of a significant criminal case in which the criminal is apprehended.
Corporal Mike Nettles – In November of 2015, Corporal Nettles was assigned to in-custody inmate security at Holmes Regional Medical Center. Corporal Nettles used his interpersonal skills to build a rapport with the inmate. During a three-week period, the inmate divulged information of his involvement in multiple violent crimes in another county in Florida. Corporal Nettles kept detailed notes of the conversations that referenced two homicides, a robbery of an elderly woman and a false imprisonment. Corporal Nettles forwarded this information to investigators with the Green Acres Police Department and Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, where these events took place. In December of 2019, Corporal Nettles testified in the trials of the inmate in Palm Beach County. His testimony and the meticulous notes he had taken were instrumental in the conviction of this inmate for these horrific crimes. In February of 2020, the inmate received two life sentences along with a thirty and fifteen year sentence in these cases. Due to the efforts of Corporal Nettles, a very violent career criminal will be serving the rest of his life in prison.
Victim Advocate Peggy Brooks – During November of 2019, Victim Advocate Brooks was contacted by a domestic violence victim who was referred by the State Attorney’s Office. Over the next several months, Peggy would assist this victim through multiple injunction hearings, helping her set up her life away from the abuser with the reconnection of utilities, education on the use of online services and providing unending support through the recovery process. Peggy also asked for assistance in reopening the victim’s case after learning that it had been closed due to a lack of evidence. Peggy worked with the Special Victim’s Unit, who after further investigation, uncovered additional evidence that led to the abuser’s arrest for Domestic Violence Strangulation, False Imprisonment and Tampering with a witness. The victim’s son expressed his appreciation for Peggy’s action in an email stating, “Advocates like Ms. Brooks… gives us the peace of mind, that those that need it, will have such a support system when they do.” Advocate Brooks provided the support and assistance to this victim that allowed her to free herself from this abusive relationship.
Agent Mike Thomas – In December 2019, Agent Thomas began an investigation into a Home Equity Scheme where an individual had defrauded a local Credit Union out of over $42,000 in one day. After collecting the financial records and while viewing surveillance footage, Agent Thomas learned that this case was part of a nationwide fraud ring that had defrauded banks with losses totaling over a million dollars. Working with investigators from many states, the individual was identified and preventative information was forwarded to law enforcement and financial institutions that led to the arrest of the suspect in Jacksonville, FL. Upon his arrest, the suspect’s cell phone was seized and using this information, Agent Thomas authored the first “complete cell tower dump” warrant issued in Brevard County. Using the information obtained from the warrant, Agent Thomas was able to identify other members of the organization. His investigation has led to the case being referred to the federal court system for prosecution. Agent Thomas’ determination and innovation led to the arrest and prosecution of a high level fraud network that was committing fraud throughout the United States.
Corrections Deputy Tyler Smith – In April 2020, Corrections Deputy Smith was working in the 500 pod of the jail complex when he was approached by an inmate who was upset because the kiosk had been locked down. The inmate was advised by Smith to return to his cell as lockdown had begun and the kiosk was not in service. The inmate refused to leave the kiosk and as Corrections Deputy Smith approached him, the inmate lunged toward Smith, knocking him to the ground. The inmate advanced forward and stood over Smith with closed fists.
Corrections Deputy Smith was able to use his legs to keep the inmate at a distance, allowing Smith to deploy his Taser in an attempt to bring the inmate under control. The inmate backed away and while Smith radioed for assistance, the inmate was able to separate the wire from the Taser. The inmate charged Smith again, yelling, “You’re dead!” Smith deployed his second Taser cartridge and additionally delivered two bursts of chemical agent, at which time the inmate became compliant. Corrections Deputy Smith applied handcuffs to the inmate and the incident ended. Correction Deputy Smith’s quick response coupled with his ability to remain calm while being attacked insured both his and the inmate’s safety.
Agent Philipp Urbanetz – In November 2019, a nineteen-year-old female was found deceased in her bed, by her mother. Agent Urbanetz was assigned to the investigation determining that during the timeframe the death occurred, the victim and her brother were alone at the residence. The autopsy found evidence that was indicative of the death being due to strangulation. Agent Urbanetz spent countless hours interviewing witnesses, writing multiple search warrants, reviewing cell tower information and coordinating forensic testing of the small amount of evidence collected at the scene. Agent Urbanetz eventually narrowed the suspect pool to one person: the victim’s brother. Agent Urbanetz compiled an entire homicide investigation based almost entirely on circumstantial evidence, which was so concise and overwhelming, that the defense attorney commented to the state that, “the agent’s observations and attention to detail make a defense lawyer’s job difficult.”
During the course of the investigation, Agent Urbanetz was faced with a grieving family that was torn apart by the loss of possibly two of their children. Agent Urbanetz maintained close, personal contact with the family and facilitated multiple meetings with the State Attorney’s Office to ensure that the family was well informed and to address any of their concerns. According to family members, Agent Urbanetz’ compassion and empathy for the family helped bring them closer together and provided closure to an act of violence that ultimately took two children away. Agent Urbanetz’ determination resulted in the successful conclusion of a homicide case with little to no physical evidence and also brought closure to a family torn apart by a senseless act of violence.
Corporal Jose Santos, Field Training Officer William Carrion and Deputy Paul Phillips – In May 2020, Corporal Jose Santos, Field Training Officer William Carrion and Deputy Paul Phillips responded to a domestic violence incident that was occurring at the Key West Bar in Satellite Beach. Upon arriving, it was learned that the suspect had struck his girlfriend several times and pushed her out of the vehicle into the parking lot before leaving the area. While speaking with the victim, the suspect aggressively entered the parking lot, driving his vehicle toward the deputies who quickly moved out of the way to avoid being injured. Deputy Phillips, FTO Carrion and Corporal Santos approached the vehicle and removed the suspect who was extremely intoxicated and belligerent. The suspect was taken into custody and during a search of the vehicle, deputies located a handgun sitting on the back seat within easy reach, as well as a semi-automatic rifle in the trunk.
It was later learned that prior to returning to the area, the suspect had communicated via text with the victim. During these messages, the suspect made threats which led the deputies to believe that the suspect had intended to seriously injure the victim and possibly other persons at the bar. Due to the quick response by these deputies in controlling the suspect, it is likely that a terrible tragedy may have been prevented.
Agent Daniel Hammond – In April 2020, an adult female was shot multiple times while she sat in her vehicle at Scottsmoor Landings in Mims. Agent Hammond immediately responded to the area and obtained surveillance video captured from a local residence. In reviewing that video, Agent Hammond was able to identify a suspect vehicle in the shooting. Over the next several weeks, Agent Hammond began to search the US 1 corridor from north Brevard to south Volusia County, gathering surveillance video in hopes of determining the direction of travel for the suspect prior to and after the shooting. In all, Agent Hammond obtained eighteen video recordings and spent a significant amount of time reviewing them in an effort to identify the suspect. The initial video obtained by Agent Hammond was crucial in later identifying the suspect, ultimately leading to his arrest. After the arrest,
Agent Hammond was able to obtain additional evidence through his forensic examination of the suspect’s electronic devices. His determination and forensic expertise was vital in bringing a violent suspect to justice.
Agent Don Reynolds – In April of 2019, Agent Reynolds began a yearlong investigation into a homicide that involved several gang members from Mims. From the outset of the investigation, the witnesses and involved persons were uncooperative and provided false information in an attempt to deter the investigation. Over the next year, Agent Reynolds conducted 68 interviews, authored multiple search warrants and reviewed hours of video footage of the incident. This review ultimately led to the discovery of two cell phone videos that captured the event from two different perspectives. Using these videos and information obtained from the interviews, Agent Reynolds was able to positively identify five suspects who were involved in the homicide. Through his determination and hard work, Agent Reynolds was able to bring charges that ranged from manslaughter to tampering with evidence against the suspects. Throughout the yearlong investigation, Agent Reynolds maintained direct contact with the victim’s family, overcoming and ultimately gaining their respect and trust. His actions brought closure and justice to the victim’s family by solving a very challenging gang related homicide.
Sergeant Wendy Wheeler – In April of 2020, Sergeant Wendy Wheeler was assigned the investigation in to an attempted homicide of a female who was shot multiple times at Scottsmoor Landings. During the investigation, a suspect vehicle was identified from security video obtained from a residence in the neighborhood. With just the description of the vehicle and no tag information, Sergeant Wheeler coordinated the efforts of investigators and analysts from multiple counties. With the assistance of the Volusia County Crime Center, those efforts would result in the positive identification of both the vehicle and suspect. Armed with this information, Sergeant Wheeler issued a statewide bulletin to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. On May 14, 2020, the suspect and vehicle were located by the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office at a hotel in Yulee, Florida. Sergeant Wheeler responded to the hotel where she had the vehicle secured for processing and made contact with and interviewed the suspect. Multiple search warrants were authored and based on the evidence obtained through these searches and information from the suspect. The male suspect was ultimately arrested and charged with the shooting and attempted homicide of the victim. Due to the outstanding work and tireless efforts of Sergeant Wheeler, this armed and dangerous suspect was arrested before he could commit any further violent acts against the public.
Field Training Officer Jason Lewis – In June of 2020, FTO Jason Lewis responded to a residence in Cocoa for a well-being check on a male who was possibly suicidal. The caller advised that the male had recently been scammed out of a substantial amount of money and had made statements about taking his life. Upon arrival, FTO Lewis observed the male on a screen porch with a revolver against his head. As a perimeter was being established, FTO Lewis used his vehicle as cover and began to engage the male in conversation. After approximately 15 minutes, FTO Lewis convinced the male to put the gun down and exit the porch. As FTO Lewis approached, the male abruptly changed his mind and began moving toward the gun. FTO Lewis entered the porch and tackled the male preventing him from reaching the gun. The male was taken into custody and transported to a mental health facility for treatment.
Upon further investigation, FTO Lewis learned that the male was also a convicted felon and registered sex offender. FTO Lewis authored a search warrant for the residence and during that search, uncovered another firearm and a quantity of ammunition. FTO Lewis obtained an arrest warrant for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon that was served on the male upon his release from treatment. FTO Lewis placed his own safety at risk during the negotiation with this suicidal male that likely resulted in saving the male’s life. FTO Lewis also showed determination and initiative by conducting a complete and thorough criminal investigation leading to the arrest of this convicted felon who was in possession of multiple firearms.
Sergeant Chris Ferrante and Corporal Gary Haas – In March of 2020, West Precinct deputies responded to an armed carjacking in the county jurisdiction of Cocoa. The vehicle was located a short time later by the Aviation Unit in Rockledge at which time they began surveilling the vehicle that was driving in an extremely reckless manner. Earlier that afternoon, the vehicle and suspect were also observed by deputies but were able to flee and evade capture. As the vehicle travelled east on State Road 520 toward Merritt Island, Deputy Matthew Rush was able to deploy his stop sticks, successfully striking both driver’s side tires. The suspect continued driving until he abandoned the vehicle in front of a convenience store located at State Road 520 and North Tropical Trail on Merritt Island. As the suspect ran into the store parking lot, Sergeant Chris Ferrante and Corporal Gary Haas arrived on scene. The suspect entered a vehicle that was parked at the gas pumps, however Sergeant Ferrante was able to block the vehicle in with his agency SUV. Seeing his route to escape was blocked, the suspect again took flight on foot toward the intersection. As the suspect was fleeing, Corporal Haas observed a firearm in the hands of the suspect and announced on the radio that the suspect was armed. The suspect began running up to cars that were stopped in the intersection, attempting to force his way into the vehicles with Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas pursuing on foot. Knowing that the suspect was armed, and fearing for the safety of the citizens stopped at the traffic light, Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas ran to positions that would enable them to address and neutralize the imminent threat to the community. Taking into consideration the likelihood of injuring non-involved citizens, Sergeant Ferrante used a break in the flow of traffic and his position of advantage to discharge his firearm, striking the suspect and eliminating the potential for further violence.
The actions of Sergeant Ferrante and Corporal Haas resulted in the incapacitation of the suspect and stopped an armed felon who could have killed or caused serious injury to innocent victims.
Agent Carmen Minthorn – In August of 2019, Agent Carmen Minthorn responded to a residence in Satellite Beach in reference to a complex sexual battery investigation. During the initial investigation, the victim was very reluctant to assist due to the sensitive nature of the crime. When Agent Minthorn expressed the importance preventing the suspect from victimizing others in the community, the victim overcame this reluctance. Having only the first name of the suspect, Agent Minthorn worked tirelessly for several months to identify the suspect. Through the use of search, cell phone and DNA warrants incorporated with statements from both witnesses and the suspect, Agent Minthorn developed probable cause and arrested the suspect. After the arrest, the State Attorney declined prosecution, however undeterred, Agent Minthorn continued to gather evidence and identify witnesses which refuted the suspect’s alibi. Agent Minthorn continued to advocate for the victim and in July of 2020, the State Attorney filed charges of Kidnapping and Attempted Sexual Battery against the suspect. Agent Minthorn’s determination and dedication in being an advocate for justice for this victim was paramount in the State Attorney filing charges against this violent suspect.
Agent Chris Caporizzo – In August of 2020, Agent Chris Caporizzo received an anonymous telephone call from a person who advised they had information in reference to a suspect threatening to harm a corrections deputy. The reportee advised that this suspect wanted the caller to find a person to assist the suspect in burglarizing the home of this corrections deputy and restrain any person inside in order to enable the suspect to harm the intended target. Agent Caporizzo conducted a series of controlled phone calls between the reportee and the suspect that led to an undercover officer meeting the suspect to arrange the intended crime. During this meeting, the suspect advised the undercover officer of the assistance needed, the name of the target and where they lived, as well as their desire to kill the corrections deputy. Based on this meeting, an arrest warrant was completed and the suspect was arrested for Solicitation to Commit First Degree Murder. Agent Caporizzo conducted a thorough and immediate investigation that required the coordination of multiple units that led to the arrest of a suspect who fully intended to take the life of a member of this agency.
Agent Mike Thomas – In September of 2020, Agent Michael Thomas received federal indictments on three individuals who were responsible for approximately 90% of all counterfeit currency cases in Brevard County. The investigation began in 2018 and during a three year period, Agent Thomas meticulously tracked each counterfeiting case, completed multiple search warrants and made arrests on each of the three suspects. All of his investigative effort was ultimately used to build the case against each of the individuals who were behind this large scale criminal enterprise. Due to the thoroughness and determination of Agent Thomas, his investigation was presented to the U.S. Secret Service who assumed the entire case, leading to the above indictment, where these suspects are now facing federal counterfeiting charges.
Crime Scene Investigator Jenna Gardner – In August of 2020, Crime Scene Investigator Jenna Gardner was asked to assist the Cocoa Police Department in a homicide case that occurred in their city. CSI Gardner, acting as the lead in the case, processed the residence for DNA, latent prints and collected multiple pieces of evidence. CSI Gardner collected a plastic bag located on a bed in the master bedroom and was able to develop a fingerprint that was linked to the suspect in the homicide. Using her knowledge, training, and experience, CSI Gardner was able to develop the definitive piece of evidence needed to charge the suspect with Premeditated First Degree Murder.
Deputy Justin Kirk – In September of 2020, East Precinct Deputies developed probable cause to arrest a suspect in a domestic violence case that occurred in Merritt Island. As Deputy Justin Kirk was responding to the location, he observed the suspect in a vehicle which fled as he attempted a traffic stop. Deputies at the scene were able to provide Deputy Kirk with a possible location of where the suspect might be located. As Deputy Kirk arrived at the address, he observed the suspect standing outside, who quickly retreated to the garage. Deputy Kirk followed the suspect into the garage, who reached into his waistband and produced a knife, holding it toward the deputy in a threatening manner. The suspect then fled into the residence with Deputy Kirk following, drawing his firearm for protection. Once inside the residence, Deputy Kirk located the suspect in a room next to the kitchen. The suspect had now armed himself with a second knife, which he used to cut both of his wrists upon being challenged by Deputy Kirk. Speaking calmly to the suspect, Deputy Kirk told him he was going to put away the firearm and wanted to examine his injuries to provide first aid. As Deputy Kirk approached the suspect, the suspect tried to lurch past him in an attempt to reach another knife. Deputy Kirk did not hesitate, moved forward and physically subdued the suspect, pinning him against the doorframe. Deputy Kirk then held the suspect there for several minutes until additional deputies arrived and assisted taking him into custody. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery for his injuries. Even when faced with a potentially deadly force situation, Deputy Kirk did not overreact and continually attempted to calm the suspect. His performance in this incident displayed confidence and determination, with his actions ultimately allowing him to take the suspect into custody without sustaining further injury.
Deputy Joe Spinelli – In November of 2020, deputies responded to a residence in Titusville in reference to a suicidal person. While enroute, deputies learned that the subject had a firearm and was making suicidal threats. As deputies set up a perimeter, Deputy Spinelli obtained the subjects phone number and began attempting to make contact with the distraught male. Over the course of 90 minutes, Deputy Spinelli made over forty phone calls, eventually establishing a line of communication where he was able to build a rapport with the subject. Deputy Spinelli was able to convince the subject that he would get the help he needed and to end the incident peacefully, without anyone getting hurt. The subject ultimately gave himself up and exited the residence where he was taken into custody without incident and transported to a mental health facility. Deputy Spinelli showed great perseverance, determination and compassion for the subject. Through his efforts, this very volatile situation ended without injury to the subject.
Deputy Adam Steuerwald – In September of 2019, Deputy Adam Steuerwald conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a minor traffic violation. As he approached the vehicle, he noticed the driver was acting very nervous and continually looking at the center console. After further investigation, Deputy Steuerwald learned that the driver had recent arrests for possessing a firearm illegally and trafficking in narcotics. Based on this information, Deputy Steuerwald had the occupants exit the vehicle and his K-9 “Merle” conducted a free air sniff around the vehicle. Merle alerted to the presence of drugs and a search located a loaded firearm in the center console and a backpack containing marijuana, pills, methamphetamine and scales were located in the rear passenger compartment. Deputy Steuerwald contacted the Special Investigations Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency and learned that the suspect was a target of a federal drug investigation. Having learned this, Deputy Steuerwald began surveilling the suspect’s residence, recording tag numbers and conducting investigative stops on vehicles and person’s leaving the house. In October, these efforts led to the arrest of an individual during a traffic stop where the search led to the discovery of a large amount of methamphetamine as well as the seizure of nearly $6000.00 in currency. The individual was later determined to be using a fake name because he was in the country illegally. All of this information was turned over to the DEA who accepted the case and prosecuted the original arrestee as well as the suspect who was in the country illegally. These suspects were sentenced to six and nine years in federal prison, along with the likely deportation of the second suspect at the completion of his prison sentence.
Through his determination and thorough investigation, Deputy Steuerwald removed two known traffickers of dangerous drugs from the community; providing the evidence needed to place them in federal prison for lengthy sentences.
Agent Timothy Liston and Agent Josh Ellison – During the month of February 2020, Agents Timothy Liston and Josh Ellison began an investigation targeting street level sales of heroin and fentanyl in the central Brevard County area. Using the assistance of confidential informants, these agents were able to identify members of an organization that was affiliated with gang related activity, as well as trafficking substantial amounts of heroin and fentanyl. The investigation culminated with the issuance of arrest warrants for 44 individuals as well as multiple search warrants. During the execution of these warrants, agents seized eight firearms, $55,000 in U.S. currency and trafficking amounts of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. The efforts of Agents Liston and Ellison dismantled a high level drug organization and removed dangerous controlled substances from the streets of Brevard County.
Agent Don Reynolds – In July of 2020, Agent Don Reynolds was assigned as the lead investigator on a drug related homicide that occurred in Viera. The homicide victim was discovered in his vehicle in an apartment parking lot with a gunshot wound to his neck. With no initial investigative leads, Agent Reynolds used multiple resources to find any evidence that would help identify the person responsible for the murder. Over the course of four months, Agent Reynolds was able to develop three suspects in the homicide. He continued building the case, using fragments of information from interviews, cellular phone data, and ultimately recovering a cell phone video that captured a portion of the incident from the forensic evaluation of one of the suspect’s phones. As the investigation culminated, Agent Reynolds obtained confessions from two of the three suspects. As a result of his investigation, all three suspects were indicted on the charge of First Degree Felony Murder. Through his efforts and determination, Agent Reynolds was able to bring closure for the victim’s family through the assurance that those responsible for the death would receive the maximum punishment for their crime.
Deputy Joseph Groski – In November of 2020, Deputy Joseph Groski responded to a suspicious incident alleging that a female was possibly being held against her will in a vehicle. As a description of the vehicle was broadcast, Deputy Groski immediately began canvassing the area and began following a vehicle that was leaving the area and matched the description. As additional deputies arrived, a traffic stop was attempted at which time the vehicle fled and tag information determined it was reported as stolen. Deputies pursued the vehicle from Merritt Island, through Cocoa and eventually southbound on I-95. Just north of Wickham Road, stop sticks were successfully deployed causing the suspect to flee on foot from the vehicle. Deputy Groski engaged in a foot chase that ended with the successful apprehension of the suspect. Deputy Groski’s calm demeanor and professionalism during this law enforcement action was paramount to the successful apprehension of this dangerous suspect.
Agent Keaton Mauldin – During December of 2020, deputies responded to the burglary of a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper’s personal vehicle. Taken in the burglary were three firearms, multiple rounds of ammunition, as well as firearm accessories. Preliminary investigation uncovered that the burglary might be related to local gang activity. Based on this information, GAMEOVER Task Force members focused efforts on tracking down these stolen guns that may have fallen into the hands of violent gang members. On December 30th, a traffic stop was conducted on a vehicle as it left the residence of a known gang member. Narcotics were located during a search and also found in the trunk was a brown purse that contained firearm accessories that matched items taken in the burglary. Agent Keaton Mauldin began to interview the occupants of the vehicle and was able to gain information as to the whereabouts of the stolen property. Through the information gained by Agent Mauldin, family members of the suspects were contacted and the three stolen firearms were turned over to GAMEOVER members a short time later. Agent Mauldin’s actions and expertise in interviewing these violent offenders led to the recovery of three firearms that most likely would have been used in violent crimes. His interview also provided evidence that was instrumental in identifying the persons responsible for the burglary of the trooper’s vehicle.
Deputy Caleb Pinkham– In July 2020, Deputy Pinkham responded to a disturbance where the caller advised that several persons were armed with guns. Dispatch further advised that unknown persons had robbed the victim of narcotics and the victim was reluctant to meet with deputies. As Deputy Pinkham arrived, he observed approximately 50 people in the street. He was able to locate the victim who was uncooperative and continuing to argue with the crowd. Deputy Pinkham also observed several persons in the crowd who were armed with firearms and heard threats being yelled at the victim. Deputy Pinkham quickly detained the victim, who was still uncooperative, in order to remove him from the area for his own protection. While placing the victim in the back seat of the patrol car, the victim suffered a seizure. With the help of additional deputies, Deputy Pinkham was able to carefully remove the victim from the vehicle and place him in the recovery position until medical personnel arrived and transported the victim to the hospital for treatment.
Deputy Pinkham used tremendous discretion in handling this potentially violent situation. He removed himself and the victim from the area and took the necessary steps to deescalate the incident. Additionally, he immediately recognized that the victim was in medical distress and took appropriate actions to care for him until medical personnel arrived.
LIFE SAVING AWARDS
This award is to recognize those employees, who under true emergency circumstances, act to prevent probable loss of life either by exercising appropriate first aid procedures or by direct intervention. It is awarded to an employee for competent and expedient action that is directly accountable for sustaining or saving a human life. Subsequent death of a victim after release to medical personnel will not preclude nomination.
Sergeant Mark Halfhide, Corporal Kevin Landis, Sergeant Carissa LaRoche, Corrections Deputy Mark Concordia and Corrections Deputy Bobby Strange – In January 2020, Deputy Strange was alerted to two inmates in the Medical Dorm who appeared to be having seizures. He determined the two inmates were possibly suffering from drug overdoses and quickly requested assistance. Corporal Landis along with Deputy Concordia and Sergeants Halfhide and LaRoche, responded to assist. Both inmates did not have a pulse and Corporal Landis operated the AED while the remaining officers performed CPR and rescue breaths on both inmates. As a result of performing these lifesaving measures for several minutes, a pulse was regained on both inmates. After the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue personnel on-scene, NARCAN was also administered and both inmates were transported to the hospital where they made a full recovery. Were it not for the quick intervention and teamwork displayed by all of the corrections deputies involved, these inmates would likely not have survived.
Deputy Anthony Del Duca – In January of 2020, Deputy Del Duca responded to a medical call where upon entering the residence, he found a male who was not breathing. Deputy Del Duca immediately began CPR and continued for approximately four minutes until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital where it was determined he had suffered a massive heart attack. Due to the quick intervention of Deputy Del Duca, the male recovered from this life threatening medical event.
Field Training Officer Ashley Jennings and Deputy Chaney Rice – In January 2020, Field Training Officer Jennings and Deputy Rice responded to a local business in reference to an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, it was determined the male was not breathing and without a pulse. Deputy Rice began CPR while FTO Jennings deployed the AED and delivered one shock. The paramedics arrived a short time later and took over lifesaving efforts. The male was transported to the hospital where he was stabilized following the incident. The quick response of FTO Jennings and Deputy Rice directly resulted in the saving of this man’s life.
Deputy Bruce LaBier – In March 2020, Deputy LaBier responded to the scene of a traffic crash involving a motorcycle. Upon arrival, Deputy LaBier found that the male motorcycle rider had suffered an amputation of his right lower leg. Deputy LaBier immediately utilized his agency issued tourniquet to the upper area of the leg, which prevented further blood loss. The male was transported by helicopter to Health First Trauma Center where he was stabilized. The trauma physician confirmed that the proper usage of the tourniquet by Deputy LaBier saved this man’s life by preventing the male from bleeding to death at the scene.
Agent Adam Walkington, Deputy Taylor Dunn and Deputy Joe Groski-In February 2020,Deputies Groski and Dunn responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to an unconscious male. Upon arrival, they found the male unresponsive and not breathing. Deputies Groski and Dunn moved the male to the floor and began CPR, while also deploying an AED. A shock was delivered, however CPR was still advised. When Agent Walkington arrived on scene, he along with Deputies Groski and Dunn, rotated rounds of CPR for approximately 30 minutes until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital in serious condition where he later made a full recovery from the medical event. Agent Walkington and Deputies Groski and Dunn are to be commended for their outstanding lifesaving efforts.
Deputy Greg Matthews and Deputy Roldano Rivera – In March of 2020, Deputies Mathews and Rivera responded to a residence in Cape Canaveral regarding an unresponsive male. Upon arrival, they learned that the male had gone into distress while in the pool and had been submerged for a period of time before being removed from the water. Deputies Matthews and Rivera immediately began CPR and deployed an AED. Both deputies continued providing CPR until the arrival of paramedics. After the male was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital, both deputies responded to another residence where they believed the male was vacationing and made contact with his wife. Realizing that the female was distraught and unable to drive, Deputy Matthews transported her to the hospital and introduced her to the hospital staff. Unfortunately, the male did not survive, however due to the lifesaving interventions of these deputies, family members were able to travel and be with him prior to his death.
Deputy Don Flammio, Deputy Joseph Snyder and Deputy Greg Matthews – In April 2020, Deputy Don Flammio, Deputy Joseph Snyder and Deputy Greg Matthews responded to an apartment in Cocoa Beach regarding a male who suffered an apparent heart attack. Deputy Flammio located the unresponsive male on a bed and moved him onto the floor using the bed sheet. Deputy Flammio began CPR as Deputy Matthews arrived on scene with his AED. A shock was delivered after which Deputies Flammio and Mathews continued performing CPR. Deputy Snyder also arrived on scene and a rotation began with each of the three deputies providing CPR to the still unresponsive male.
Fire Rescue personnel began advanced life support after their arrival until the male could be safely moved from the fifth floor to the ground level where an ambulance transported him to a local hospital. According to medical personnel, the actions of the deputies were critical in saving the life of this male.
Deputy Heather Bivins and Deputy William Howard – In March of 2020, Deputy Heather Bivins and Deputy William Howard responded to a medical call in West Melbourne in reference to an unresponsive female. Upon arrival, the deputies discovered that the female was not breathing and had no pulse. Deputies Bivins and Howard immediately began CPR and deployed an AED. Two shocks were delivered to the female in between rounds of CPR until the arrival of paramedics. The female was transported to the hospital where she made a full recovery. Paramedics advised that had the deputies not immediately began CPR and deployed the AED, the female would have likely not survived this medical event.
Deputy Don Flammio – In April 2020, Deputy Don Flammio responded to a residential fire in Cape Canaveral. Being the first to arrive on scene, Deputy Flammio learned that the homeowner, who was an elderly handicapped male, was still inside the burning residence. Deputy Flammio learned the male was trapped inside a bedroom as the smoke filled the home. Deputy Flammio broke a window due to the thick smoke and gained entry into the house from the outside. Using his flashlight, Deputy Flammio was able to crawl through the residence, eventually locating the male who he was able to drag to the window and remove from the residence with the assistance of arriving deputies. After rescuing the male, Deputy Flammio stayed in the residence and also successfully located the man’s dog, and brought him outside. Both the elderly male and his dog were treated by Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue personnel. If it were not for the heroic actions and determination of Deputy Flammio in putting his own life at risk, both the homeowner and his dog may have perished in the fire.
Sergeant Orlando Vecchio and Corporal Jeremy Flake – In April 2020, while off-duty, Sergeant Orlando Vecchio was advised that a person had been shot in the area of Scottsmoor Landings. Sergeant Vecchio located the female victim who had suffered multiple gunshot injuries and relayed the information to responding deputies. Corporal Jeremy Flake arrived on scene and was advised that the victim was bleeding profusely. Corporal Flake retrieved his medical bag and began assisting Sergeant Vecchio by applying a blood clotting agent to the most serious wounds. Both deputies continued to comfort the victim who was unable to speak but responded by squeezing Sergeant Vecchio’s hand. The victim was transported to the hospital in critical condition and according to hospital medical personnel, the actions taken by Sergeant Vecchio and Corporal Flake likely prevented the female from bleeding to death at the scene.
Deputy Heiden Irizarry-Rodriguez – In February 2020, Deputy Heiden Irizarry- Rodriguez responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to an unconscious male. Upon arrival, he found the male on the kitchen floor unresponsive and not breathing. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez immediately began CPR, while also deploying an AED. A shock was delivered, however CPR was still advised. While continuing CPR, Deputy Irizarry- Rodriguez learned that the male was prescribed seizure and pain medication for a back issue.
Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez administered Narcan with negative results of improving the male’s condition. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez continued performing CPR until the arrival of paramedics who took over lifesaving efforts. The male was transported to the hospital where he was expected to make a full recovery. Deputy Irizarry-Rodriguez responded to this life threatening medical emergency by providing emergency aid as he had been trained. The actions he took directly led to saving the life of this male.
Corporal Bridgette Johnson, Deputy Tyler Burgess and Deputy Michael Loucel – In April of 2020, Corporal Bridgette Johnson along with Deputies Tyler Burgess and Michael Loucel responded to a call in reference to a possible suicidal male on the Hubert Humphrey Bridge. Deputy Burgess arrived first and met with a Cocoa PD officer who was talking with the male subject who was despondent over losing custody of his children. Deputy Loucel also began speaking with the man and was soon joined by Deputy Burgess and Corporal Johnson. All three engaged the male in conversation in an attempt to get him to come down from the guard rail. Corporal Johnson was able to build a rapport with the subject who eventually stepped down from the rail and sat down on the edge of the sidewalk, allowing deputies to take him into custody for a mental health evaluation. It is clear the male intended to commit suicide when he climbed on to the railing of the bridge; the patience and compassion shown by these deputies saved his life and allowed him to receive the professional help he needed.
Field Training Officer Elliott Edwards and Deputy Tyler Young – In June of 2020, FTO Edwards and Deputy Young responded to a request from a male to check on the well-being of his uncle who had sounded distraught during a recent phone conversation. Upon arrival at the uncle’s residence, the deputies observed the male laying on the couch and appeared to be sleeping. Attempts to wake the male from the outside of the house were unsuccessful and the deputies also observed two open and empty pill bottles on a table by the man. Fearing for his safety, the deputies were able to enter the residence through an unlocked side door. Once inside, they found the man breathing but unresponsive. A short time later, the male stopped breathing and FTO Edwards and Deputy Young immediately began CPR. Their efforts were successful in the male regaining a pulse, however he still remained unresponsive. Deputies Edwards and Young remained with the male until the arrival of paramedics where he was transported to a local hospital and made a full recovery from his suicide attempt. FTO Edwards and Deputy Young should be commended for their quick actions in preventing this suicide and allowing the male to receive the proper medical care he needed.
Corporal Danielle Stitt and Deputy Brian Otto – In June of 2020, Corporal Danielle Stitt and Deputy Brian Otto responded to a residence in Merritt Island where a male was reported to be unresponsive. Upon arrival, they found the male unresponsive and wedged between his bed and the wall. They successfully removed the male and placed him onto the floor where Corporal Stitt began CPR while Deputy Otto deployed his AED. A shock was given, after which both deputies worked together performing CPR until the male regained a faint pulse and began breathing sporadically. The deputies continued with chest compression until the arrival of paramedics and the male was transported to the hospital where he fully recovered. The quick response and lifesaving measures taken by Corporal Stitt and Deputy Otto ultimately led to this male surviving this life threatening medical event.
Agent Randy Truitt and Deputy Michael Neill – In June of 2020, while driving in his agency vehicle, Agent Truitt heard a dispatched call for a male who collapsed while walking down the roadway. Being in the area, Agent Truitt responded to find several citizens providing CPR. Agent Truitt exited his vehicle and obtained his AED, which he deployed upon reaching the male. Deputy Neill also observed the group while driving through the area on his way home from agency orientation. Deputy Neill stopped to assist and began chest compression along with Agent Truitt, while a citizen provided rescue breaths. The male was provided three shocks by the AED without success and the group continued CPR until the arrival of paramedics. The male was transported to the hospital where he recovered from this medical emergency. The actions of Agent Truitt and Deputy Neill, along with the concerned citizens, assisted in saving the life of this male who had suffered a massive heart attack.
Corporal Willard Freeman and Deputy Angela Itri – In June of 2020, information was received from a female who believed her boyfriend was suicidal. Corporal Willard Freeman and Deputy Angela Itri responded to the male’s residence in an effort to check on his well-being. Upon arrival, they heard a loud noise and what sounded like a person in distress coming from a wooded area near the residence. Corporal Freeman and Deputy Itri began searching the heavily wooded area, finding the male, who apparently had attempted to hang himself unsuccessfully due to the branch breaking. Upon falling to the ground, the male became entangled in dense vines and panicked to the point where he had restricted his airway and was gasping for breath. Corporal Freeman climbed into the area, reaching the male who had the vines tightly wrapped around his throat. Corporal Freeman was able to calm the male, breaking him free from the vines and ultimately saving his life. Deputy Itri transported the male to a mental health facility where he received appropriate follow-up treatment. The quick response and diligent search undertaken by Corporal Freeman and Deputy Itri were responsible for this male surviving the attempt to take his life and enabled him to receive the mental health care he needed.
Field Training Officer William Carrion – In July 2020, FTO Carrion responded to a residential fire in unincorporated Indialantic. Upon arrival, FTO Carrion found the residence fully engulfed in flames. Without hesitation, he began banging on the door, making contact with a male who he was able to safely assist out of the residence. Upon learning that the male’s 90-year-old mother was still inside, FTO Carrion re-entered the burning home and began calling for the elderly female. Hearing coughing from a rear bedroom, FTO Carrion was able to locate the elderly female who was disoriented and having difficulty breathing. He quickly identified himself and assisted the female out of the residence, reuniting her safely with her son. If not for the quick actions and bravery of FTO Carrion, there could have been a very different outcome, with one or both of the homeowners perishing in the fire.
Deputy Taylor Dunn and Deputy Joseph Groski – In August 2020, deputies responded to an attempted suicide at a residence in Merritt Island where a juvenile female was threatening to harm herself. During their response, they learned that the female had shot herself in the chest. Deputies Dunn and Groski arrived to find the juvenile sitting in a chair suffering from a through and through gunshot wound that had entered her chest and exited her back. As other deputies secured the scene, Deputies Dunn and Groski immediately began performing life-saving measures, working together to close the wounds and stop the bleeding. They continually reassured the victim she would survive in an effort to keep her calm. Paramedics arrived on the scene and the female was airlifted to the hospital. It was later learned that the courageous and decisive actions taken by Deputies Dunn and Groski ultimately resulted in saving this distraught juvenile’s life.
Deputy Dale Craig – In December 2020, Deputy Dale Craig responded to a report of a head-on collision that occurred in Micco. After arriving on-scene, Deputy Craig found a female in one of the vehicles who was unresponsive and without a pulse. He immediately removed the female from her vehicle and began chest compressions, which he continued until the arrival of paramedics. By the time rescue personnel arrived on scene, the female had regained a pulse and her condition was upgraded to stable. The female was transported to the hospital where she fully recovered from her injuries. The prompt response and immediate actions taken by Deputy Dale Craig were instrumental in saving the life of this female.
Field Training Officer Gaston Robin – While traveling on Viera Boulevard in November of 2020, Deputy Gaston Robin noticed a vehicle stopped on the railroad tracks with its reverse lights illuminated. Deputy Robin approached on foot and made contact with the driver who was still seated inside the vehicle. At that moment, Deputy Robin also observed a train rounding the curve heading towards the vehicle. Deputy Robin notified the Communications Center to contact FEC and advise them to stop the train. He then turned his attention to the driver, who he instructed to exit the vehicle and walk towards him. The driver complied, eventually joining Deputy Robin at his patrol vehicle away from the tracks. Although the approaching train had slowed, it was unable to stop, and struck the vehicle head-on before stopping approximately a quarter mile north of the location. Further investigation determined that the driver was under the influence and had intentionally positioned the vehicle on the tracks in an attempt to commit suicide. Without the direct intervention by Deputy Robin, this male would have surely lost his life when the vehicle was struck by the oncoming train. Deputy Robin’s calm and professional demeanor helped ensure the safety of the driver, train personnel and the citizens who had stopped to provide assistance.
Deputy Adam Benke and Deputy Joe Spinelli – In December of 2020, Deputies Adam Benke and Joe Spinelli responded to a vehicle accident in Titusville. Upon arriving at the scene, the deputies found that a vehicle had crashed into a tree and was beginning to catch fire. As Deputies Benke and Spinelli reached the vehicle, they found the driver slumped over the steering wheel and unresponsive.
As the fire continued to grow, both deputies attempted to enter the vehicle to remove the driver, but were unsuccessful due to the damage to the door from the crash. Having no other option, Deputy Spinelli pulled the driver out of the vehicle through a window and with the assistance of Deputy Benke, carried the driver to safety, moments before the entire passenger compartment was engulfed in flames. The driver soon regained consciousness and was treated by medical personnel at the scene. Both Deputy Benke and Spinelli are to be commended for performing life-saving measures and placing themselves in personal danger in order to save the life of this driver.
Deputy Bruce LaBier – In November of 2020, Deputy Bruce LaBier was notified by a passerby that a male subject was lying face down on the ground. Deputy LaBier located the male who was unresponsive, not breathing and without a pulse. With the assistance of a citizen, Deputy LaBier immediately began CPR. After completing several cycles, Deputy LaBier was able to also deploy his AED, which administered a shock to the subject. CPR was continued during which time the male regained his pulse and began breathing. After the arrival of paramedics, the subject was transported to a local hospital where he made a full recovery. Deputy LaBier’s quick intervention with CPR and AED deployment, ultimately saved this male’s life.
Deputy Alexander Vila – In December 2020, Deputy Vila responded to a traffic accident on Interstate 95. Upon arrival, he found a female victim who was trapped in her vehicle, bleeding profusely from the amputation of her left arm. Deputy Vila immediately utilized a tourniquet and applied it to the upper part of her arm to prevent further blood loss. Brevard County Fire Rescue personnel arrived on scene, extricated the female and transported her to the hospital where she received further medical care for her life-threatening injury. The actions of Deputy Vila during this extreme emergency were directly responsible for saving this female’s life.
2020 RESERVE DEPUTY OF THE YEAR
The recipient was selected from the 58 Reserve Deputies currently volunteering with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. This individual will receive a special gift from the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association.
2020 COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER OF THE MONTH
The recipients were selected from the 38 Communications Officers who handle all emergency radio dispatch for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
2020 COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER OF THE YEAR
The recipient was selected from one of the Communications Officers of the Month for 2020. This individual will receive a special gift from the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association.
2020 EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
The recipients were selected from the 427 civilians who serve in numerous capacities throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
2020 EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR
The recipient was selected from one of the Employees of the Month for 2020. This individual will receive a special gift from the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association.
2020 CORRECTIONS DEPUTY OF THE MONTH
The recipients were selected from the 298 Corrections Deputies who serve in the Jail Complex.
2020 CORRECTIONS DEPUTY OF THE YEAR
The recipient was selected from one of the Corrections Deputies of the Month for 2020. This individual will receive a special gift from the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association.
2020 DEPUTIES OF THE MONTH
The recipients were selected from the 535 Sheriff’s Deputies who work as Patrol Deputies, Court Deputies and Investigative Agents throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.
2020 DEPUTY OF THE YEAR
The recipient was selected from one of the Deputies of the Month for 2020. This individual will receive a special gift from the Coastal Florida Police Benevolent Association.