2022 Honored Employees

25 Years Of Service
Charles Banks
Mary Battle-James
Todd Calhoun
Tisha Drinkwater
Keith Grosse
Christopher Krechting
Lisa Myer
Brian Neal
Veronica Shinholster
Troy Skinner
Ron Spangler

30 Years Of Service
Tamara Gross
Margaret Hargis
Rob Lape

35 Years Of Service
Alex Fischback
Larry Primavera
Robert Wagner


PARNERSHIP AWARD
United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg

For the past 15 years, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Secret Service and the FBI by providing Task Force Agents to work on child exploitation cases.  Agents from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office have served as lead case agents, undercover officers, and forensic examiners on more than 100 child exploitation cases that have been successfully prosecuted in federal court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have consistently demonstrated their commitment to keeping our communities and children safe.

In a Federal Press Release from November of 2022, U.S. Attorney Handberg stated, “Protecting our children from those who would seek to do them harm is a top priority of the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners.  We have had an excellent partner in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. Their investigators are skilled and dedicated professionals who are committed to protect children from sexual exploitation.  The prosecutions have served to protect children in Brevard County and across the United States. We look forward to many more successes working together with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office on these important cases.”

It is an honor to present U.S. Attorney Handberg and the United States Attorney’s Office with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Partnership Award.

 


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.

Deputy Don Eri
Deputy Don Eri received information from a foster parent in reference to a juvenile who was possibly setting fires. The foster parent had become concerned after learning the juvenile had started a fire at the home of his grandparents and had been caught by the foster parent setting a fire in a garbage can at the residence.
Upon learning this information, Deputy Eri found that the juvenile had been questioned in reference to a recent fire at a skate park in Merritt Island. Deputy Eri also located two additional suspicious fires reported in the area. Deputy Eri contacted the arson investigator from the Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives, who advised they were having trouble locating the juvenile who had been suspended from school and left the foster home. Deputy Eri was able to locate the juvenile, who during the interview with the Fire Investigator, confessed to setting the fires at the skate park and a local park restroom.
Due to the initiative and thoroughness of Deputy Eri, the arsonist was identified, located and arrested. The arrest of this juvenile likely prevented other potential property and life-threatening arsons. For his actions, Deputy Eri is receiving a Bar of Merit.

Agent Mike Spadafora
Agent Mike Spadafora began investigating a CyberTip received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reporting that a user of Yahoo e-mail had uploaded over 600 images and videos of suspected child abuse material to their servers.
During his review of the material, Agent Spadafora observed numerous images of child pornography that contained unidentified victims. Agent Spadafora suspected these images were being produced by a suspect living in Merritt Island. Further investigation revealed the suspect had access to a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, who were believed to be the children in the images. Due to the immediate need to protect these children from further abuse, a search warrant was obtained and served at the suspect’s residence. During the search of the residence, a computer was located in the suspect’s bedroom that showed he was actively viewing and sharing child pornography. Based on the material and other evidence collected from the search, the suspect was arrested.
Through his efforts and dedication, Agent Spadafora saved two young children from further abuse by their family member and was able to provide them with counseling and other needed services. Agent Spadafora is being recognized for his investigation with a Bar of Merit.

Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius, Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens and Corrections Deputy Zachary Sornberger
When a brush fire erupted east of the Jail Complex and quickly spread to the north with many homes in its path, the Communication Center called for any available unit to respond and assist with evacuating homes in the path of the fire. Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius, Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens and Corrections Deputy Zachary Sornberger responded to the area.
While on scene, Sergeant Isbell, Corrections Deputy Stevens and Corrections Deputy Sornberger assisted other patrol deputies and Brevard County Fire Rescue with evacuating homes, helping citizens with special needs and directing traffic away from the affected area. Field Training Officer Claudius (a volunteer fireman) assisted BCFR Station #28 with extinguishing structure fires and saving several other structures from fire damage.
Due to the quick actions of Sergeant Isbell, Field Training Officer Claudius, Corrections Deputy Stevens, and Corrections Deputy Sornberger, they were able to help prevent any further loss of property and assist our citizens to safety.

Sergeant Sean Wilkin, Corporal Josh Williams, Agent Aaron Becker, Deputy Justin Edgar, Deputy Bobby Smith, Deputy Alexandria Zeglen and Deputy Mitchell Hannon
Agent Aaron Becker and Deputy Justin Edgar responded to a call for service regarding a wildfire behind Woody’s BBQ in unincorporated Cocoa. Upon Agent Becker and Deputy Edgar arriving on scene, they guided Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) in with a brush truck, which was the only fire equipment capable of traversing the terrain. The responding BCFR brush truck only had two fire fighters, so they asked for the deputies’ assistance. Agent Becker and Deputy Edgar assisted BCFR by operating fire hoses on the truck in an attempt to extinguish the flames.
On the northeast perimeter of the fire, in the neighborhood adjacent to Broadway Boulevard, deputies and Fire Rescue were evacuating homes. Sergeant Sean Wilkin, Corporal Josh Williams, Deputy Bobby Smith, Deputy Alexandria Zeglen and Deputy Mitchell Hannon began evacuating residents along Akorn Street. As the fire progressed, it grew from three acres to approximately fifteen acres in size. While the fire was increasing in severity, several items such as old cars, lawn equipment, propane tanks, and debris, were also set ablaze and began randomly and violently exploding. Sergeant Wilkin, Corporal Williams, Deputy Smith, Deputy Zeglen and Deputy Hannon continued to work feverishly to evacuate residents and pets that had been left behind.
Upon approaching 371 and 367 Akorn Street, in the direct path of the center of the fire, Sergeant Wilkin was made aware of three dogs and a parrot left inside two of the residences. Both residences were ablaze with 50-foot flames erupting from the structures and trees in the backyards. Sergeant Wilkin breached the front doors and entered the houses to save the animals (with the assistance of Corporal Williams and Deputy Hannon). As a result of these courageous efforts, the three dogs and a parrot trapped inside the homes were quickly rescued unharmed and returned to their owners. If not for the quick, diligent action of the involved deputies, the animals would surely have perished in the fire.
Without the determination of the involved deputies, the outcome may have been drastically different resulting in the loss of human life as well as the beloved pets which were rescued.

Agent Dan Magill
East Precinct deputies responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to a mailbox that had been blown up. Deputies quickly located evidence which they perceived to be the remnants of an improvised explosive device. Agent Dan Magill was contacted and responded as the on-call agent for the East Precinct General Crimes Unit. Agent Magill was briefed on the incident, then expanded the crime scene perimeter and contacted the on call BCSO Bomb Squad technician.
Immediately, Agent Magill began interviews and learned the victim just moved into the residence 48 hours prior and the landscaper for the property was owed money by the prior tenant. Witness interviews confirmed the suspect arrived at the neighbor’s residence earlier in the day asking about money he was owed. The suspect drove away, stopping next to the mailbox that exploded within a minute of him leaving. Agent Magill obtained residential video surveillance which showed a black sport utility vehicle, driven by a white male with a beard, exit the truck at the neighbor’s residence. Agent Magill was able to identify the owner of the SUV who was on felony probation.
Crime Scene Investigators and Explosive Ordinance Disposal members determined the device used to destroy the mailbox was a manufactured destructive device, which was not constructed hastily. The maker would have needed ample time to construct the device in a clandestine manner, to avoid detection by witnesses, or law enforcement. Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, Agent Magill developed probable cause and drafted an arrest warrant for the suspect and a search warrant for his residence. Later that morning during the execution of the search warrant, the suspect was located and arrested. During the search of the residence, two suspected explosive/incendiary devices were located.
Throughout this long and extensive investigation, Agent Magill showed great thoroughness, determination and outstanding investigative skills. His efforts led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of evidence to substantiate the initial crime as well as the recovery of additional improvised explosive devices.

Agent Gary Haas
Agent Gary Haas and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated a joint investigation into a potential human trafficking ring affecting multiple jurisdictions. As a result of the very complex investigation, agents found evidence the suspects had recruited three juvenile females to perform sex acts with them for money. Further investigation also revealed the suspects, on multiple occasions, had video recorded the sex acts being performed with the victims.
As a result of the investigation, both suspects were arrested for multiple counts of human trafficking, use of a minor in a sexual performance and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. The expertise of Agent Haas in investigating this case removed two dangerous sexual predators from the community and allowed the healing process to begin for the juvenile victims.

Corporal Michael Coppola
While driving home at the conclusion of his shift, Corporal Michael Coppola noticed a vehicle stuck on the railroad tracks approximately fifty yards south of the intersection at Viera Boulevard and U.S.1. He immediately stopped his patrol car and went to render aid. Upon approaching the vehicle, he discovered a very disoriented ninety-three-year old man sitting in the driver’s seat. Corporal Coppola’s investigation revealed the elderly man had taken a wrong turn and was stuck on the railroad tracks. Corporal Coppola was able to remove the man from the vehicle and carry him to safety while making notification to the Florida East Coast Railway to stop any trains in transit until the vehicle could be moved. At the time of this incident, there was a northbound train that would have collided with the vehicle without Corporal Coppola’s intervention.
The actions taken by Corporal Coppola averted a potentially dangerous situation that would most likely have resulted in the serious injury or death of the elderly male.

Agent Mitch Matthias
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit was notified of a homicide that occurred on Hunt Drive, in Merritt Island. Upon arrival, deputies discovered an adult male victim, deceased in his garage from an apparent gunshot wound. Agent Mitch Matthias was assigned as the lead investigator.
From the onset of the investigation, Agent Matthias had minimal evidence or leads to follow. With no known witnesses, Agent Matthias demonstrated creative thinking to canvass additional neighborhoods for any information. This led Agent Matthias to multiple security cameras that ultimately revealed the suspect’s vehicle arriving and departing from the victim’s residence. Although Agent Matthias was new to the Homicide Unit and had yet to lead a homicide investigation, his training and experience helped him to maintain a positive outlook which kept the investigation moving forward. His tenacity for finding more leads eventually led to a nearby convenience store, where the suspect was captured on surveillance video and used his personal customer rewards number to conduct a transaction.
Agent Matthias used these leads to positively identify the suspect and determine he not only shot and killed the homeowner, he also took items from the victim’s home after he shot and killed him. Agent Matthias utilized multiple agency resources to locate the suspect and continue to gather evidence. Due to his tireless efforts, he successfully arrested the homicide suspect and recovered the victim’s stolen property, as well as the property of the victim’s roommate.

Agent Kyle Pemberton
Agent Kyle Pemberton initiated an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization. This investigation would span six months and culminated with a search warrant at the main suspect’s residence and the arrest and federal prosecution of this distributor of dangerous narcotics.
During the course of the investigation, Agent Pemberton was able to cultivate two informants that could purchase heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine from the suspect of this investigation. Throughout March and into August 2022, Agent Pemberton worked diligently with the informants as they were able to make the multiple controlled purchases of methamphetamine and heroin/fentanyl from a residence in Titusville.
Based on the above information and because of the great investigative efforts of Agent Pemberton, Special Agent Brian Lammers with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) adopted the case federally. The case was brought before a Federal Grand Jury on September 14, 2022, where an indictment was issued for multiple federal charges for the distribution of dangerous narcotics.
Immediately following the indictment, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team executed the federal search warrant at the suspect’s residence. During the search of the residence, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine were located. Multiple handguns were also recovered with one being reported stolen from Titusville.
Because of his hard work and countless hours on this investigation, Agent Pemberton removed a dangerous convicted felon off the streets of Brevard County who was poisoning the citizens and contributing to the drug pandemic we face in our country every day.

Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli
On the evening of June 25, 2022, South Precinct deputies received radio notification that Indian River County Sheriff’s Office personnel were pursuing a vehicle being driven by an individual who had taken two hostages and had discharged a firearm several times at their deputies. Several Brevard County deputies responded to the area to assist in apprehending the suspect and rescuing the hostages that he had taken.
The suspect’s vehicle ultimately came to a stop in the area of Foley Ln in Grant -Valkaria. Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli arrived on scene becoming involved in the standoff that ensued.
After a brief time of failed negotiations, the suspect emerged from the vehicle with one of the hostages being held closely to his body with a firearm pushed against the female hostage’s head. The suspect was able to retreat with the hostage into the wood line under the cover of darkness.
These deputies, along with personnel from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and Sebastian Police Department, formed a hostage rescue team and pursued the suspect on foot into the woods.
As the pursuit continued, the rescue team came into contact with the suspect and his hostage in a clearing. Once the suspect was illuminated by the light of STAR, gunshots were exchanged with the suspect, and other members of the rescue team, resulting in the suspect being killed and the hostage being rescued. Deputy Gobeli immediately began to render medical aid to the rescued hostage who was relatively unharmed and escorted her away from the scene to safety.
Throughout the entirety of the incident, in spite of being fired upon and having no visibility in the darkness, these deputy sheriffs displayed a calm and collected demeanor which directly contributed to the success of the rescue mission described. Because of their resolve, bravery, and fearlessness, there was no further injury or loss of life to the hostages.

Agent Harry Bermudez
Between January 2021 and April 2022, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Task Force received thirteen (13) case reports involving jet skis/jet boats as an investment scam that defrauded Brevard County victims out of $209,000.00. Agent Harry Bermudez was assigned and investigated all the Brevard County cases. During the investigation, Agent Bermudez identified the suspect and determined he had three different ways to scam victims out of money.
Agent Bermudez’s investigation led him to more victims and other affected jurisdictions. He was able to deconflict with GCU agents and deputies from Volusia County to build a better overall case of scheming to defraud. Agent Bermudez determined all the stolen money was used to support the suspect’s gambling addiction. Agent Bermudez was able to follow all the money from the victims, to the suspect and ultimately to the Casinos and/or Kennel Clubs. Agent Bermudez’ investigation was on-going for approximately one year, but ultimately cleared all of the opened Brevard County Sheriff’s Office cases with an arrest.
As a result of his investigative efforts, Agent Bermudez was able to provide other jurisdictions with information needed to clear their open cases. This was a difficult and time-consuming investigation that ended in the arrest of a suspect for an organized fraud that occurred in multiple jurisdictions.

Deputy Thomas Farragher
During the past year, Deputy Farragher has conducted numerous traffic stops in an effort to educate the citizens of Brevard County on traffic laws while searching for impaired drivers and illegal drugs. As a result of his efforts, Deputy Farragher made over one hundred Driving Under the Influence arrests as well as several other arrests for the possession of illegal drugs.
Deputy Farragher’s passion for DUI enforcement is also evident in his willingness to educate and develop new deputies assigned his shift. In addition to mentoring others, he has taken it upon himself to attend advanced DUI trainings to help with his own education and experience. His growing knowledge, passion and experience for DUI investigations directly reflects in his work product, as nearly all of his arrests have been successfully filed by the State Attorney’s Office without issues. The State Attorney’s Office is also recommended for Deputy Farragher to submit his application to the Drug Recognition Expert School, which requires State Attorney’s Office approval.
Deputy Farragher is a highly proactive and self-motivated member of the Cape Canaveral Precinct. Because of his actions, over 100 impaired and potentially dangerous drivers were apprehended and removed from the streets of Brevard County. Additionally, he is the first BCSO deputy since 2017 to make over 100 Driving Under the Influence arrests within a single year.


Lifesaving 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.

Deputy Josh Chamberlain
Deputy Josh Chamberlain was dispatched to a wooded area in Grant in reference to an off-road vehicle crash. Upon arrival, he was advised the crash site was located deep in the woods and a male had sustained serious injuries to his arm. Knowing that an emergency vehicle could not reach the scene due to the terrain, Deputy Chamberlain entered the woods on foot in an effort to find the victim. After several minutes, he was able to locate the crash site after observing the headlights of the overturned vehicle.
Upon assessing the victim’s injuries, Deputy Chamberlain observed his left arm was maimed to the point of near amputation. Deputy Chamberlain immediately applied a tourniquet to the victim’s injured arm to stop the bleeding. Recognizing the victim was in shock and in need of immediate medical care, Deputy Chamberlain placed the victim in the back of a modified off-road jeep that was at the scene and transported him out of the woods to the roadway where emergency medical personnel were waiting. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was stabilized, giving the medical team the opportunity to save his arm.
The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Deputy Chamberlain directly resulted in the saving of this man’s life.

Deputy Robert Bennett and Deputy Kyle Reinhardt
Deputy Robert Bennett and Deputy Kyle Reinhardt responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to a house fire where four occupants and a dog were reported to be trapped inside. Deputy Bennett arrived first to find that two of the occupants had made it safely out of the residence. In an effort to reach the remaining occupants, Deputy Bennett attempted to enter the front door of the residence but was unable due to the billowing smoke. Upon Deputy Reinhardt’s arrival, both deputies again moved toward the front door where they could hear the occupants yelling for help. As they reached the door, they observed one of the occupants had dragged an elderly female into the front part of the residence, however was unable to continue further.
Both deputies entered the residence and were successful in locating the female who they were able to move to the safety of the front yard. Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and began extinguishing the fire at which time they observed the family’s dog crawling on the ground toward the rear of the residence where he too was pulled to safety.
Deputies Bennett and Reinhardt’s courageous actions placed their own personal safety in great danger in order to save the life of this elderly female.

Sheriff Wayne Ivey and Corporal Hannah Polito
Sheriff Ivey received a telephone call from a citizen advising that they had not seen or heard from their elderly family member and were concerned for their welfare. Being near the area, Sheriff Ivey and Corporal Hannah Polito responded to the residence to conduct a well-being check. Upon arrival at the residence, they were able to hear a faint voice calling for help.
In order to gain access to the residence, Sheriff Ivey assisted Corporal Polito through a rear kitchen window. Once inside, the resident was discovered laying on the kitchen floor in medical distress. Sheriff Ivey and Corporal Polito provided immediate first aid to the victim until medical personnel arrived at the scene. Further investigation found that the resident had fallen several days earlier and had dragged himself into the kitchen. The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated for head injuries, fluid on his lungs and dehydration. Hospital personnel confirmed that without the immediate intervention of Sheriff Ivey and Corporal Polito, the male would not have survived.

Corporal Michael Oldham, Corporal Anthony Moore and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe
While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Oldham and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe were alerted to a possible medical issue with an inmate in one of the cells. As they arrived at the cell, they observed an inmate laying on the ground unresponsive. Corporal Oldham requested medical assistance while FTO Grubbe placed the inmate in the recovery position and attempted to clear the airway. Corporal Anthony Moore responded and assisted with CPR on the inmate. In addition to CPR, an AED was also utilized to deliver four shocks to the unresponsive inmate. Brevard County Fire Rescue responded and transported the inmate to an area hospital where additional medical care could be provided. Due to the quick response, poise and teamwork of these corrections deputies, the inmate was able to survive this emergency medical event.

Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook
County Jail Complex, Corrections Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook were alerted to an issue in one of the housing units by inmates asking for assistance. Corporal Cooper and Corrections Deputy Cook immediately responded and found an inmate hanging from the top tier with a sheet tied around her neck. Corporal Cooper and Corrections Deputy Cook immediately grabbed the inmate’s legs and lifted her up, relieving the pressure from her neck.
While Corporal Cooper continued to hold the inmate’s legs, he instructed Corrections Deputy Cook to go upstairs and remove the sheet from around her neck. Corrections Deputy Cook quickly ran up the stairs and successfully removed the sheet allowing Corporal Cooper to gently lower the inmate to the ground where he immediately began to assess her for injuries.
Corporal Cooper initiated CPR until the inmate became responsive. The Jail Complex medical team took over care until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue. The inmate was transported to an area hospital where she was medically cleared and returned to the Jail Complex with no significant injuries. The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Corporal Cooper and Correction Deputy Cook directly resulted in saving the inmate’s life.

Automotive Technician Austin Severson
While traveling northbound on I-95 in the area of mile marker 206 in Cocoa, Automotive Technician Austin Severson observed what he believed to be a crash with a possible ejection. The driver was observed laying on the ground next to the vehicle on the side of the roadway. Technician Severson immediately stopped to render medical aid at which time the male driver leapt up and grabbed a large shard of broken glass. The driver then attempted to cut his own throat with the glass and began waiving it at Technician Severson in a threatening manner.
At this time, a citizen travelling in the opposite direction, stopped and crossed the Interstate median to aid Technician Severson. As the male driver continued to waive the glass at Technician Severson and the citizen, he continued to make suicidal comments and threats. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation and the potential for harm not only to themselves, but to the male driver as well due to being on the side of a busy highway, Technician Severson and the citizen tackled the male. During the ensuing struggle, they were successful in getting the glass away from the subject and held him down until deputies arrived on scene.
It was ultimately determined the male driver had intentionally wrecked his vehicle with the intent of committing suicide, which was ultimately prevented by Technician Severson. Technician Severson and this citizen placed themselves in harm’s way without regard to their own safety to save the life of a suicidal subject. As a direct result of their actions, the male driver only received minor lacerations from his attempt to take his own life. Technician Severson’s actions went above and beyond anything expected or required of a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office employee and are deserving of recognition.

Deputy Cliffton Dasher, Deputy Mitchell Hannon, Corporal Megan Andrews and Lieutenant Jason Hart
These deputies were involved in events a day apart with the same victim. During the initial encounter, Deputy Cliffton Dasher and Deputy Mitchell Hannon responded to a residence in Titusville after a relative advised they had not heard from a family member for several days. The caller stated this was very unusual and that the resident had no family in Florida to check on him.
Upon their arrival to the residence, Deputy Dasher and Deputy Hannon noted a vehicle was parked in the driveway. After continuous knocking on the front door and windows, no one answered. Deputy Dasher and Deputy Hannon spoke with neighbors who stated if the vehicle was present the resident should be home.
Based on this information, they looked for alternative ways to gain entry to the residence without causing damage, if possible. Deputy Hannon was able to manipulate a window to open near the front door. Deputy Hannon then climbed through the window and unlocked the front door. Once inside the residence, Deputy Dasher and Deputy Hannon located an unresponsive male in his bedroom, laying on the floor near his bed. Deputy Dasher and Deputy Hannon requested Brevard County Fire and Rescue (BCFR), who arrived on scene and determined the male was suffering from several severe medical problems. The male was transported to the hospital where he received medical treatment and was released.
The following day, Lieutenant Jason Hart and Field Training Officer Megan Andrews responded to the same residence in an attempt to contact the male. Upon arrival, the deputies were unable to get a response from the resident. Due to the previous call, forced entry was made into the residence where the male was found unresponsive on his bed with labored breathing. Lt. Hart and FTO Andrews attempted to wake the male and continued to do so until BCFR arrived and transported the male to the hospital.
Deputies Dasher, Hannon, FTO Andrews and Lt. Hart were relentless in their attempts to assist a caller in locating his brother. After realizing their call for service was potentially life-threatening, all personnel acted quickly to enter the residence and render aid, saving the life of the male on two different occasions.

Sergeant Jason McMillin
Sergeant Jason McMillin was dispatched to a residence in the city of Cape Canaveral in reference to a male who was not breathing normally and had a history of traumatic brain injury and seizures.
Upon arriving on-scene and assessing the situation, Sgt. McMillin quickly realized the male was having some sort of cardiac episode and had stopped breathing. Sergeant McMillin determined the male had no pulse and immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue arrived on-scene and requested Sergeant McMillin continue his life saving efforts. As CCFR began to evaluate him, they realized the male regained a pulse and transported him to an area hospital.
Contact was made with the male’s mother who was extremely grateful for Sergeant McMillin’s quick response. She commented that if he had not started CPR when he did, there was a high likelihood her son would not have survived.

Field Training Officer Josh Mancini
FTO Josh Mancini was among multiple deputies who were dispatched to a call of a collapsed trench at a construction site located in the area of Camp Road and US1 in Cocoa.
The caller was unable to provide an exact location of the trench as FTO Mancini and others responded to the area. After scouring the area, deputies located a large hole, approximately 15 feet deep and several feet wide. At the bottom of this hole, they were able to observe a male up to his neck in muddy water. Due to the consistency of the soft ground and the water in the hole, the male was slowly sinking.
Fearing the victim would drown without assistance, FTO Mancini directed workers on scene to lower a harness off of a boom crane to the male. Once the harness was under the male’s arms, the crane put enough pressure on the male to keep him from sinking further.
As Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) started to arrive on scene, FTO Mancini observed that water was slowly filling the hole and again, was putting the victim’s life at risk. FTO Mancini requested dive equipment be brought on-scene to provide air to the victim. A Scott Air Pack was delivered to the scene until members of the Dive Team could respond with the requested dive equipment, which was used by BCFR to provide the victim with air until he could be raised higher out of the hole.
After approximately two (2) hours, the victim was removed from the hole and moved to a nearby landing zone where Life Flight transported him to an area hospital where he made a full recovery.
This incident is an outstanding example of the team work employed each and every day from the various units of our agency to preserve the life of a citizen in a life-threatening situation.
FTO Mancini’s response to this accident and his actions prevented the probable loss of life due to his direct intervention.

Deputy Sean Maze
Deputy Sean Maze responded to the area of Via Salerno Court, Merritt Island, in reference to a report that two female juveniles had been struck by lightning. Dispatch further reported one female patient was awake and breathing, while the other patient was unresponsive and turning blue.
Upon arrival, Deputy Maze observed two female juvenile victims laying on the ground next to a palm tree. As Deputy Maze approached the girls, he observed one was responsive and gasping, “help me.” The other juvenile’s face was blue/purple in color and had blood around her mouth. Deputy Maze immediately assessed the unresponsive juvenile and found she had no pulse and was not breathing.
Deputy Maze retrieved an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from his patrol vehicle and returned to the victim to render aid. Deputy Maze then initiated Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) until he observed the lips of the victim begin to move. Upon the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, the victims were transported to an area hospital for medical treatment. Both victims are expected to recover from their injuries.
The swift response and life saving measures employed by Deputy Maze were essential in preserving the life of the juvenile female initially found to be unresponsive at the scene.

Deputy Kaitlyn Applegate
Deputy Kaitlyn Applegate responded to a call for service where a male was on the top of the Hubert Humphry Bridge straddling the guardrail preparing to jump off. Deputy Applegate was the first to arrive on scene and began talking with the male who was visibly distraught and stating he wanted to commit suicide. After several minutes speaking with the male, she convinced him to take her hand, assisting him to the side of the road preventing him from jumping off the bridge. She was able to calm him and convince him to get into the back of her car where she transported him off the bridge.
Deputy Applegate investigated further and determined he was suffering from severe depression that has gone untreated. He stated he did not want to live because of life circumstances and her actions saved his life. Deputy Applegate transported him to a medical facility where he was able to receive the necessary treatment.
Deputy Applegate’s ability to establish a rapport with the male and calmly speak with him prevented a potential life-ending tragedy. Her direct intervention and expedient action stopped this suicidal individual from following through with his intentions.

Deputy Niclas Woltman and Reserve Deputy Dylan Lemoine
Deputy Niclas Woltman and Reserve Deputy Dylan Lemoine responded to a residence in Cocoa in reference to an injured/ill person. Deputy Woltman, who was the first to arrive on scene, began performing life-saving measures and initiated CPR due to the person being unresponsive. Upon arriving on scene, Reserve Deputy Lemoine deployed his AED while Deputy Woltman continued CPR. Upon attaching the AED to the patient, a shock was administered. The Cocoa Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived soon after and took over life saving measures. The patient was ultimately transported to an area hospital for further treatment.
Brevard County Fire Rescue advised the actions of Deputy Woltman and Reserve Deputy Lemoine were directly responsible for saving the life of the victim.

Deputy Shannon Hooper and Deputy Marc DeLaughter
Deputy Shannon Hooper responded to Culver’s in Viera in reference to a medical incident. The Communications Center advised that an 86-year-old male lost consciousness and was possibly having a heart attack. Once on-scene, Deputy Hooper assessed the male patient and began CPR while requesting another deputy to respond with an AED.
Deputy Hooper continued to perform chest compressions on the male until Deputy Marc DeLaughter arrived on scene with an AED which was quickly applied and two shocks were administered. Brevard Fire Rescue responded and transported the male to an area hospital.
Had it not been for the quick actions of Deputies Hooper and DeLaughter, it is unlikely the male would have survived.

Deputy Joe Batch, Deputy Christina Cea, Field Training Officer Matt Bialobrzeski and Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew LeBeau
East Precinct deputies responded to an apartment complex in Merritt Island in reference to a frantic call to 911 about a male that was actively hanging himself while the caller was on the phone. While the dispatcher was attempting to gather information about the incident, the caller abruptly ended the call. Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew LeBeau completed a cross reference on the phone number and was able to determine the caller’s exact location. Based on previous calls, PST LeBeau was able to direct deputies to the location where the incident was occurring in the large apartment complex.
Deputy Joe Batch responded to the location and quickly located the residence in the complex. Deputy Batch observed the back door to the residence ajar and announced his presence. He heard the caller yelling in distress from within and quickly entered. He observed a female in the residence yelling and moving frantically, telling him the father to her child was hanging in the living room. As he approached the male, he observed him hanging from a bed sheet that was attached to the second floor bannister. The male appeared to be deceased based on the lack of body movement, color of his body and the tightly bound sheet around his neck.
Deputy Batch checked the male and was able to detect a faint pulse. Deputy Batch then positioned himself where he could pick the male up to relieve some pressure from the knot around his neck, holding him in this position until other deputies arrived.
Upon arrival, Deputy Christina Cea assisted Deputy Batch with holding the male while FTO Matt Bialobrzeski cut the sheet. They lowered the male down to the floor where he started to breathe but was still unconscious. The male was moved into the recovery position until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived on scene and assumed medical care. Once stable, the male was transported to an area hospital where he eventually made a full recovery.
Without PST LeBeau’s diligence and experience, deputies would not have been able to locate the exact residence within the large apartment complex as quickly in a call where seconds count. There is no doubt the actions of PST LeBeau, Deputy Batch, Deputy Cea and FTO Bialobrzeski directly attributed to the successful outcome and preservation of life.

Corporal Michael Peterson and Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel
While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Peterson was alerted to a possible medical emergency. Corporal Peterson contacted Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel who responded to the sleeping area of a housing unit where he found an inmate displaying labored breathing and unresponsive to verbal commands. FTO Hummel delivered a sternum rub which also was met with no response. He immediately requested assistance and continued to evaluate the inmate whose condition was worsening, ultimately needing to perform CPR.
During these life-saving efforts, FTO Hummel aided in movement of the inmate from his bunk to the floor and delivered 5 rounds of chest compressions, assisted by Corporal Peterson who responded and provided rescue breaths. Ultimately, their efforts resulted in the inmate regaining consciousness.
During this incident, Corporal Peterson and Field Training Officer Hummel utilized their training and experience to provide the inmate with life-saving care.

Field Training Officer Kevin Tesmacher
While off-duty, Corrections Field Training Officer Kevin Tesmacher responded to a medical emergency which involved a long-time friend. During a pool tournament, the male suddenly collapsed and began to have a seizure. Field Training Officer Tesmacher quickly placed the male onto his side in the recovery position. After a few minutes, the man’s health declined and he stopped breathing. Field Training Officer Tesmacher immediately assessed the situation, and with the help of another friend, began administering CPR until Brevard County Fire Recue arrived on scene. Due to Field Training Officer Tesmacher’s quick response, the life of his dear friend was saved.
Field Training Officer Tesmacher’s poised demeanor under stressful circumstances was instrumental in saving the life of a valued friend. His response not only saved a life, but reflected the highest standards of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Corporal Sharhonda Haynes, Corporal Michael Peterson, Corporal Phillip Winston, Corporal Adam Turco, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez
While working at the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner was alerted to a possible medical emergency in one of the housing units. Upon responding to the area, Corrections Deputy Figner found an unresponsive inmate that was blue in the face and appeared to not be breathing. Corrections Deputy Figner performed multiple sternum rubs before requesting medical assistance.
Corrections Corporal Phillip Winston was first to respond and assisted Corrections Deputy Figner with moving the inmate from his assigned top bunk to the floor where life-saving efforts could be conducted. Immediately after moving the inmate, Correction Deputy Figner began providing chest compressions. Corrections Corporal Adam Turco responded with and applied the AED as Corporal Winston began delivering the next round of chest compressions. Corporal Winston, Corporal Peterson Corporal Turco, Corporal Haynes and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez all performed life-saving measures during the incident which ultimately resulted in the AED administering one shock to the inmate.
The collective efforts of these corrections deputies resulted in the inmate receiving additional medical care and ultimately making a full recovery.

Deputy Chris Matthias, Deputy Kyle Reinhardt and Deputy Robert Bennett
East Precinct Deputy Chris Matthias, Deputy Kyle Reinhardt, and Deputy Robert Bennett, responded to a Merritt Island residence in reference to an unresponsive female.
Upon arrival, Deputy Chris Matthias was met in the driveway of the residence by the victim’s daughter, who informed him which bedroom her mother and her grandmother were located in within the house. As Deputy Matthias made his way into the bedroom, he observed the victim laying on the ground. Her mother was observed kneeling beside her performing chest compressions. Deputy Matthias instructed her to step away from the victim to allow him to continue life saving measures, which he did until Deputy Kyle Reinhardt and Deputy Robert Bennett arrived on scene.
Deputy Reinhardt activated his automated external defibrillator (AED) and Deputy Bennett subsequently applied the AED pads in the appropriate positions on the victim. The AED evaluated the victim and advised no shock was required and to continue with chest compressions. Deputy Matthias and Deputy Reinhardt continued to administer chest compressions until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and took over all life saving measures. BCFR informed on scene deputies the victim now had a pulse when they assumed treatment and subsequently transported her to an area hospital for further medical care.
Contact was made with the attending physician who informed deputies that the victim’s condition was currently stable and she was being admitted into the intensive care unit for further treatment.
During a true emergency, Deputy Matthias, Deputy Reinhardt, and Deputy Bennett’s actions prevented the probable loss of life by exercising appropriate first aid procedures. The deputies’ actions were directly responsible for sustaining the victim’s life.

Corporal Willard Freeman and Deputy James Christoffel
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received multiple 911 calls from residents hearing gunshots in the area of Cypress Avenue, Mims. The callers indicated they heard rapid gun fire, possibly from rifles. Several North Precinct deputies responded immediately and were told via the radio that children were walking home and someone had been chasing them and shooting at them.
Deputy James Christoffel arrived in the area and found a juvenile laying in the roadway with gunshot wounds. Deputy Christoffel called for the immediate response of Brevard County Fire Rescue and retrieved his AED. As Deputy Christoffel returned to the victim, Corporal Willard Freeman arrived and assisted with the lifesaving measures. While applying the AED, the deputies assessed the victim’s wounds and discovered he had suffered multiple gunshots. When the AED advised not to shock the victim, Deputy Christoffel began chest compressions with the assistance of Corporal Freeman until Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and took over the medical treatment of the juvenile. Deputy Christoffel immediately began taking pictures of the crime scene and the paramedics working on the victim in order to preserve evidence of the crime scene.
As Fire Rescue was caring for the patient, Deputy Christoffel obtained information on the likely identity of the victim as he continued to check the area for evidence and witnesses. Deputy Christoffel learned the victim was a sixteen-year-old male who had been ambushed while walking home from a friend’s house.
Due to the efforts of the deputies on scene and BCFR, the victim regained a pulse and was able to be transported to the hospital for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, due to the severity of his wounds the young man passed away several days after the shooting.
Corporal Freeman and Deputy Christoffel entered what could have been an active shooting scene, risking their own safety, to immediately tend to the medical needs of a child victim. Their actions prevented the immediate loss of life by exercising the appropriate first aid procedures competently and professionally. Had they not taken immediate action, the child may have died prior to the paramedic’s arrival, thus not giving him the opportunity to receive advanced medical care.

Deputy Andrew Schoener, Deputy Christian Portocarrero and Deputy Tyler Conway
Deputy Andrew Schoener, Deputy Christian Portocarrero and Deputy Tyler Conway responded to Indian River Colony Club in reference to a golf cart that crashed into a canal. While deputies were enroute, dispatch advised a golf cart had driven over a hill and landed in a water filled canal. They were further advised an elderly female was trapped under water, under the golf cart, and an elderly male was trying to get her out.
Deputy Portocarrero was first to arrive on scene and was directed by the reporting person to the location of the golf cart. Deputy Portocarrero observed a canal, filled with water and steep sides, making ascent or descent into the canal very difficult. Deputy Portocarrero rapidly accessed the situation and noticed an elderly male sitting in the water, with water rising to the level of his upper chest. The elderly male was leaning against the golf cart, using the golf cart as support to keep from going under the water. Deputy Portocarrero also observed an elderly female submerged, face down in the water, at the front of the golf cart. Deputy Portocarrero did not hesitate and descended into the canal to render aid at the same time providing updates over the radio to responding units.
Deputy Portocarrero approached the elderly female and attempted to pull her out of the water. He quickly discovered her right shoulder was pinned under the golf cart and her right arm was stuck underneath the floorboard area. Deputy Portocarrero lifted the front end of the golf cart, high enough to free the elderly female’s shoulder and arm. After freeing her, Deputy Portocarrero rolled the female over and observed her eyes were open but she was not breathing and did not have a pulse. At this time, Deputy Schoener arrived on scene and descended into the canal without hesitation, and immediately assisted Deputy Portocarrero in moving the female to the bank of the canal. Once on the bank, they began life saving measures by performing CPR.
Deputy Conway soon arrived on scene, jumping into action by assisting Deputy Schoener and Deputy Portocarrero in moving the elderly female up the steep embankment in order to better provide medical treatment. Deputy Conway and Deputy Portocarrero continued to perform CPR, as well as initiating the use of the AED, until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, who assumed the lifesaving measures on the elderly female. As this was occurring, Deputy Schoener descended back into the canal to assist the elderly male that was still in the water.
Deputy Schoener discovered the elderly male was injured and did not have the strength to stand up. Deputy Schoener entered the water and assisted the elderly male in standing up, to prevent his head from going under water. The elderly male did not have the strength to ascend out of the steep canal, so Deputy Schoener held the male up, until more units arrived to assist. Deputy Portocarrero assisted Deputy Schoener with the elderly male. Deputy Schoener, with the assistance of Deputy Portocarrero, and a medic with BCFR, lifted the elderly male out of the water and carried him up the steep embankment to safety.
Deputy Portocarrero, Deputy Schoener, and Deputy Conway displayed outstanding abilities by effectively working together, as a team, to assist in providing lifesaving measures for two elderly persons, by removing them from harm’s way to receive proper medical treatment.

Deputy Scott Falla
Field Training Officer Ummel and Deputy Scott Falla responded to a residence in Melbourne, in reference to a disturbance. Upon arrival, they witnessed Corporal Hannah Polito outside the residence saying she needed gloves, that there was a lot of blood. Corporal Polito started running towards the back yard of the residence and they followed after her.
Deputy Falla and FTO Ummel located a male sitting near the edge of the pond, with what appeared to be a deep laceration on his wrist. Deputy Falla immediately obtained his agency issued tourniquet and applied it to the male’s upper arm. Deputy Falla and FTO Ummel helped the male walk to the front of the house to meet BCFR paramedics who transported him by ambulance to an area hospital.
Further investigation determined that the victim attempted to take his own life utilizing a box cutter to slice his wrist. According to paramedics who responded to the incident, without Deputy Falla’s crucial tourniquet application, the victim would have very likely died from the injury due to loss of blood volume.
Deputy Falla acted swiftly and calmly to provide effective lifesaving treatment despite only being in his second week of phase 1 of field training. As a result of his actions, the male recovered from his injuries and received treatment for his emotional distress.

Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle
Hurricane Nicole impacted the east coast of Florida causing severe wind, rain and intense surf conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, Banana River and Indian River.
During the height of the storm, the Communications Center received a call from a male who was riding out the storm on his 36-foot sailboat. The male advised that his sailboat had broken free from its mooring and was now sideways in the Indian River with the keel of the boat stuck in the bottom of the river. As the wind continued to produce large swells, the boat began to fill with water. Hearing the call for assistance, Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle responded to the area with an inflatable Zodiac boat.
Upon arriving in the area, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle launched the inflatable boat and battled the rough conditions while making their way to the sailboat. Once at the sailboat, they had to position their inflatable boat to ensure they could rescue the male while also ensuring their safety as well. They were able to safely bring him aboard their inflatable boat and return to the shoreline while continuing to battle the rough conditions. The male was turned over to the Cocoa Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue who provided medical care.
During this event, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle placed their own safety in danger in order to conduct the water rescue. Their efforts most likely saved the life of this boater during a natural disaster.

Deputy James Christoffel
Deputies were dispatched to a residence in unincorporated Cocoa where a distraught male was threatening to commit suicide with a firearm. As deputies arrived on scene, they observed a male seated on the steps of a travel trailer in the back yard of the residence. While maintaining a perimeter position, Deputy Christoffel began speaking with the male and convinced him to stand up and surrender himself.
The male left the travel trailer, at which time he was observed to be armed with a firearm. The male then placed the barrel of the firearm against the side of his head while saying he was not going to hurt deputies but that he intended to end his life.
Deputy Christoffel continued speaking with the male for approximately 20 minutes until he successfully convinced the male to lower the firearm. Once the firearm was lowered, he was taken into custody and transported to a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.
Deputy Christoffel did an outstanding job deescalating a potentially deadly situation, using his communication skills to save the life of an armed male suffering a mental health crisis.

Field Training Officer Greg Matthews, Deputy Kyle Fitzgerald, Deputy Josh Chamberlain and Deputy Marissa Wright
FTO Greg Matthews along with Deputy Josh Chamberlain and Deputy Marissa Wright responded to Jetty Park in reference to a possible drowning. Upon their arrival, the deputies observed a subject partially on the beach, who had been recovered unresponsive from the water.
Noting the subject was unresponsive, Deputies Wright, Matthews, and Chamberlain all took turns performing CPR while Deputy Kyle Fitzgerald applied AED patches to the patient. During his break from chest compressions, Deputy Chamberlain responded to the Jetty parking lot to identify the subject by querying his vehicle’s tag.
Paramedics arrived on scene, taking over for deputies who were all sharing CPR responsibilities. The male was transported to an area hospital where Deputy Chamberlain and Deputy Wright followed to obtain a status on his condition. Once at the hospital, they were informed the patient was in critical condition however was likely to survive.
According to hospital personnel, the male undoubtedly would have succumbed to injuries on scene if not for the quick response of these deputies and their teamwork in performing lifesaving measures.


2022 RESERVE DEPUTY OF THE YEAR

Reserve Deputy of the Year –Dylan Lemoine

Reserve Deputy Dylan Lemoine joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2020 as an Auxiliary Deputy Sheriff.  While serving as an Auxiliary Deputy, and working full-time for a large corporate health care provider, he still found time to continue his law enforcement training, earning his Law Enforcement Certification in 2021.  He then joined the Reserve Unit and completed the Field Training Program on May 19, 2022.

As a member of our Reserve Unit in 2022, Reserve Deputy Lemoine volunteered over 1000 hours to the agency.  He handled or assisted with 960 calls for service while also making 10 arrests, including an arrest of a suspect for drug trafficking.  Dylan has also assisted in charity events, traffic enforcement and scene security, all at no cost to our citizens.

Reserve Deputy Lemoine never seeks attention or recognition and is an absolute professional, who proudly provides his services and expertise to assist in the operations of the Sheriff’s Office.

It is with great pride we recognize Dylan Lemoine as the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy of the Year.

 



2022 PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATORS OF THE MONTH

The recipients were selected from the 28 Communications Officers who handle all emergency radio dispatch for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

January

Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Shinn

PST Ashley Shinn answered a call from a victim who advised they had just been physically attacked and were currently detaining their attacker on the ground.  Remaining calm, PST Shinn obtained information on both the victim and the attacker and determined that both were currently safe.  She continued to speak with the victim until the arrival of deputies on scene.  It was later learned that the attacker had been stalking the victim for weeks and planned on committing a murder.  The actions of PST Shinn during this call assisted in the peaceful arrest of this potential violent offender.

February

Public Safety Telecommunicator Jessica Heath

While working dispatch, PST Jessica Heath was alerted to a call for assistance from Cocoa Beach Police in reference to a driver who had fled from a traffic stop.  Hearing the direction of travel, PST Heath was aware that the subject was running in the direction of two of our K-9 units that were on beach patrol.  PST Heath provided these units with the information and monitored the incident via Countywide where both agencies were patched together. Almost immediately, the units came into contact with the subject and took him into custody without incident.  Due to her awareness and quick actions, PST Heath assisted in the arrest of a subject who was later determined to have been wanted by the FBI and FDLE for four felony warrants.

March

Public Safety Telecommunicator Sarah Codding

While working South Radio, PST Sarah Codding dispatched an in-progress burglary call at a residence in Melbourne Beach.  Due to the proximity of the call, units from Melbourne Beach also responded.  For over three hours, PST Codding worked this priority call that involved multiple agencies.  PST Codding handled herself in a professional manner, providing updated information to all units on scene. PST Codding assisted in bringing this call to a successful conclusion through the arrest of at least one of the suspects.

April

Public Safety Telecommunicator Eric Williams

PST Eric Williams distinguished himself in the handling of two in progress violent felony calls.  The first was the carjacking of a pizza delivery driver in the Cocoa area.  As the victim advised he had been dragged down the street by the suspects, PST Williams obtained the necessary information that led responding deputies to the vehicle and enabled them to apprehend the suspect.  In the second incident, a male called advising that he had been stabbed in the chest.  Assuring the safety of the victim, who had managed to drive himself to the hospital, PST Williams coordinated the response of deputies to the area where the suspect was last observed.  With his assistance, deputies were able to locate and take into custody this violent offender.

May

Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

For his actions in handling two separate shooting incidents, PST Andrew Polk is being recognized.  The first occurred at a house party in Malabar where four persons were injured.  For the next three hours, Andrew not only kept up with back to back radio traffic, he also assisted with multiple requests from deputies and assisting units from Palm Bay.

The second incident involved a male who called 911 reporting that he had been shot.  Not only did PST Polk receive the call, he was also responsible for the radio and response of deputies to the scene.  His professionalism during this violent event not only assisted the responding deputies at the scene but also the deputies who ultimately located and arrested the suspect.

June

Public Safety Telecommunicator Erin Northcutt

PST Erin Northcutt answered a call from a female who advised that her husband had retrieved a gun from his vehicle and fired it twice.  After ascertaining that no one had been targeted or injured, PST Northcutt remained on the phone with the female for forty minutes, keeping her calm and obtaining a full layout of the house to assist units on the perimeter.  With her assistance, deputies were able to safely remove the female and her children from the residence, obtain a protection order and remove the firearms from the residence.

July

Communications Center Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau

As deputies were responding to a large apartment complex where a male was threatening to commit suicide, the caller abruptly disconnected before advising the exact location this was happening.  Shift Supervisor Andrew LeBeau cross referenced the phone number and was able to determine the exact location.  Based on previous calls, Shift Supervisor LeBeau was able to direct the responding deputies to where the incident was occurring in the large apartment complex.  Using this information, deputies were successful in finding the male and providing lifesaving medical interventions that ultimately saved the male’s life.  Without the information provided by Shift Supervisor LeBeau, deputies would not have located the male in the apartment complex in time to successfully intervene and save his life.

August

Communications Center Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard

After answering a 911 call from a suicidal male, Shift Supervisor Nicole Bernhard realized that the voice of the caller sounded familiar.  Nearly three years earlier, Nicole had prevented this same male from committing suicide by keeping him on the phone until deputies arrived, successfully pulling him back over the rail he intended to jump from.   Faced with a similar situation, Shift Supervisor Bernhard spoke with the male for ten minutes, keeping him engaged on the call until deputies arrived and safely detained him for a mental health evaluation.  Nicole is no stranger to handling priority calls, however this is the first time in her career she has convinced the same person twice that his life was worth living.

September

Public Safety Telecommunicator Andrew Polk

PST Andrew Polk is being recognized for two incidents, the first regarding an escaped prisoner from the Florida Department of Corrections Work Release facility. PST Polk coordinated the response of not just patrol units, but also Agents from General Crimes and Homicide as well as members of the GAMEOVER Task Force.  At the height of the incident there were over thirty units involved and he seamlessly fulfilled their requests and continually provided updated information to assist in the search.

The second incident involved a traffic stop where a suspect attempted to attack a deputy with a hammer before fleeing the scene.  The ensuing pursuit involved multiple agencies and units from several precincts.  He coordinated the activities of all units, using Countywide radio to patch the units together.  During the final stop the suspect jumped from an overpass sustaining serious injuries.  PST Polk quickly contacted emergency medical personnel to respond.  Due to his efforts, the suspect’s movements were accounted for during the entirety of the call and all deputies involved were uninjured.

October

Public Safety Telecommunicator Darian Dovgan

A 911 call was received from an eight-year-old boy who reported that his parents were involved in a physical altercation.  PST Darian Dovgan answered the call and began gathering information while at the same time calming the child who was extremely upset.  Throughout the call, she reassured the boy that help was on the way.   PST Dovgan stayed on the line with the child until deputies arrived at the residence.  Her actions in this incident led to a quick response by responding deputies and ensured the safety for the child and the other involved family members.

November

Public Safety Telecommunicator Lana West

PST Lana West dispatched deputies to a disturbance where the caller advised that his son had pointed a gun at him, threatening to shoot.  PST West continually updated deputies with additional information as she spoke with the call taker, prompting additional questioning, as to the layout of the residence and where all parties were at in the house.  PST West was able to provide clear, accurate information that allowed deputies to position themselves safely to begin addressing the situation.  Her actions ultimately made the incident much safer for all individuals at the scene and led to a successful conclusion of the call with no injuries to any personnel.

December

Public Safety Telecommunicator Shelby Kochendorfer

Units from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office participated in a search for a murder suspect who was wanted out of another county.  The suspect had crashed their vehicle in Brevard County, fleeing the scene of the accident on foot.  Over 70 units from multiple agencies participated in the search that lasted over three and one-half hours.  PST Shelby Kochendorfer coordinated communications for these units, providing updated locations and information as well as coordinating the response of Aviation and K-9.  Her ability to handle ever changing information during this chaotic event assisted in the capture of this violent suspect without further incident.

 


2022 EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH

 The recipients were selected from the 375 civilians who serve in numerous capacities throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

January

Logistics Specialist Tracy Wilson                    

In the past, agency plaques were obtained through outside vendors.  In order to cut costs and be more efficient, Central Logistics took on the role of making all agency issued plaques.  The Annual BCSO Awards Ceremony and Speedy Dewitt Tactical Firearms Challenge make up the bulk of these requests.  Last year, Tracy produced over 100 plaques for these two events alone.  In addition, she produced plaques requested by multiple units and precincts for personnel transferring, leaving the agency, or retiring.  Although this is just one part of her varied job responsibilities at Central Logistics, Tracy always has a positive attitude and a willingness to get the job done.

February

Accreditation Coordinators Cheryl Sink and Christine Bean                       

The Accreditation Unit monitors and maintains all agency policies and procedures as well as all forms, affidavits and printed guides and manuals used daily by agency personnel. With the decline in use of Internet Explorer, we began receiving many employee complaints regarding the inability to access and navigate within many of our critical agency fillable forms and documents.

Research was conducted by Cheryl and Christine to develop a solution to the forms and documents dilemma.  A solution to most of our agency forms access was satisfied with the use of certain software, which was already in use by some members of our agency, and was available for implementation at no further cost.

This resulted in the development of the Agency Forms Library now available to all personnel on the portal. Cheryl and Christine went further to develop training and step-by-step direction to all personnel. Since the implementation of Forms Library, employee access issues have been resolved resulting in increased agency productivity.

March

Validations Technician Nena Carmany                   

Nena’s persistence, thoroughness and investigative knowledge led to the arrest of two wanted fugitives whose warrants had been outstanding for over thirty years.  Through her investigative efforts, Nena uncovered a possible address in Columbia County (FL) for a fugitive with a Violation of Probation warrant issued in 1986.  Using this address, deputies located and arrested the fugitive.  Several days later, Nena found a possible address in Marion County (FL) for another fugitive who had violated probation with his warrant issued in 1989.  Once again, Nena’s information led to the arrest of a fugitive, who had evaded capture for three decades.  Her determination led to the successful conclusion of these long-standing open cases, both culminating in the arrest and prosecution of the offender.

April

Animal Enforcement Supervisor Olivia Williams

Olivia has served this agency in a variety of roles, to include Animal Care Specialist, Animal Enforcement Officer, Training Officer, Animal Enforcement Bite/Dangerous Dog Investigator, and currently as an Animal Services Enforcement Supervisor.

Due to Olivia’s dedication and great understanding of the court system, county ordinances, state laws, and rabies protocols, her supervisors received multiple accolades from the victims of her investigations, and their thankfulness for her outstanding court presentation and the time she took with each and every one of them. On multiple occasions, the defendants in the cases would often reach out to Olivia’s supervisors, praising Olivia for treating them with respect, professionalism, and dignity.

This past year, Olivia was promoted to the position of Animal Enforcement Supervisor. Shortly thereafter, one of our Enforcement Supervisors left the agency, leaving only her to fill this role. Olivia immediately stepped up and assumed the responsibility of supervising all twelve of the Animal Enforcement Officers, monitoring between 50-100 Animal Services’ calls a day, all while maintaining the safety and supervision of their activities.

Without Olivia’s dedication to the entire Animal Services Team, and her passion for animals, we would not be as successful and progressive as we are today.

May

Automotive Technician Austin Severson

While travelling north on I-95, Automotive Technician Severson observed what he believed to be a traffic crash with a possible ejection.  As Austin stopped and neared the vehicle, he observed the driver laying on the ground, next to the vehicle, on the side of the roadway.  Austin immediately went to provide medical aid and stayed with the driver until deputies arrived at the crash site and took control of the scene.

June

Latent Print Examiner Karlie Kasznay          

As part of her training program, new employee Karlie Kasznay was tasked with re-examining latent cases from 2020. The goal of this particular training task was to familiarize her with the analysis portion of latent examination as well as with the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) when a latent of value was observed.

In one of the first cases she examined, Karlie successfully located a fingerprint of value and began an AFIS search of the fingerprint, which resulted in a potential hit. Prior to this, there were no leads in the case and it was closed pending further investigative information.  In a second case, LPE Kasznay was also able to successfully locate a latent fingerprint of value and begin a search in AFIS of the fingerprint, which resulted in a potential hit.  Sergeant Fletcher advised that the new lead was for a subject not previously known in this case. He further advised that the second identification was for a known subject in that case.

It should be noted that LPE Kasznay had no previous experience as a latent print examiner with another law enforcement agency. Yet, within one month of starting her employment with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, she has already assisted by contributing two substantial new leads in separate cases.

July

Animal Care Center Supervisor Emily Gilbert

Emily started her career with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services as an Animal Care Technician and has continually progressed to the position of Animal Welfare Coordinator where she coordinated special events and our volunteer program, to this year becoming one of our Shelter Supervisors.

As Shelter Supervisor, Emily made an immediate impact on the shelter staff by gaining the staffs trust and respect as a leader.  In addition to the 27 employees assigned to the shelter, she also coordinates the efforts of 60 volunteers.  She also participates in outside events, facilitates weekly obedience classes, as well as many other activities all while supervising the shelter operation- An impressive feat for a seasoned supervisor, let alone a newly promoted one.

Our team could not be more proud of what Emily has accomplished in her career here at BCSO Animal Services. Her dedication and commitment to this organization, and to the animals we are entrusted to care for is simply amazing.

August

Chief Legal Counsel Laura Moody and Payroll Coordinator Julie Nycum          

Due to the challenges of recruitment, the utilization of a hiring bonus and academy sponsorships has become a vital tool to hire candidates, each of which results in an employee contract.  During the past two years, over one hundred contracts have been awarded requiring a substantial financial obligation from the agency, whereby it becomes imperative to recoup these funds if the contract is not upheld by the employee.

Over the course of several months, Chief Legal Counsel Laura Moody and Payroll Coordinator Julie Nycum worked collectively to review employee contracts.  Each brought a unique perspective in reviewing the contracts resulting in a more comprehensive contract. Chief Legal Counsel Moody ensured the rewritten contract language is clear and concise. Payroll Coordinator Nycum reviews the contracts if any employee leaves prior to fulfilling the terms of the contract and must determine what the employee will need to do in order to satisfy the contract.

The contracts have been revised to provide a clearer understanding of the agreement being entered into between the two parties.  The attention to detail and team work exhibited by all has resulted in contracts that employees can easily understand and seamless enforcement of contracts when necessary.

September

Desk Officer Jaclyn Flake  

During the months of September and October, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office was tasked with fingerprinting all of the Brevard County Fire and Rescue personnel. During a few short weeks, Jaclyn fingerprinted almost two hundred and fifty of the four hundred and seventy BCFR employees. This task was completed quickly and efficiently while still keeping up with all of her other daily responsibilities.

It should also be noted that Jaclyn readily volunteered in assisting the Brevard County School Board when they were short staffed. In the few days helping out, she completed nearly three hundred fingerprints on school board employees, contractors and volunteers.

Within a few days of fingerprinting the BCFR personnel, many of the fire stations from outside the West Precinct’s geographical boundaries were being directed to visit West precinct due to the level of professionalism and prompt and friendly service they were receiving from Jaclyn. District Chief Chris DiSciascio took the time to write a letter stating he greatly appreciated Jaclyn’s hard work and dedication.

October

Booking Technician Kaylen Brooks

Booking Technician Brooks has been a vital member of the Booking team at the Jail Complex. In addition to her assigned duties, she has taken on the additional assignment as a Civilian Training Officer, making her responsible for training new Booking Technicians. Kaylen also created a training manual for booking technician procedures.  She has demonstrated outstanding job performance and can be relied upon to exceed standards with regards to arrest affidavits and other various documents.  With just over three years of experience, Booking Technician Brooks has proven to be an asset to the Jail Complex.

November

Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle

As Hurricane Nicole impacted the east coast of Florida, the Communications Center received a call from a male who was riding out the storm on his 36-foot sailboat. The male advised that his sailboat had broken free from its mooring and was now sideways in the Indian River beginning to fill with water. Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Michael Ryle responded to the area with an aviation truck and inflatable Zodiac boat.

Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle deployed the inflatable boat and battled the rough conditions while they made their way to the sailboat. Once they arrived at the sailboat, they made contact with the male and were able to safely bring him aboard their inflatable boat. The three then proceeded to battle the rough conditions, finally reaching the shore where Cocoa Fire and Brevard County Fire Rescue was waiting to provide medical care.

During this event, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle placed their own safety in danger in order to complete this water rescue, which most likely saved the life of this boater in distress.

December

Corrections Technician Steven Durso                

During a shift at the Jail Complex, Corrections Technician Durso noticed that an inmate was attempting to jump over the railing of the second floor in a housing unit. The inmate had tied one end of a bed sheet around his neck and the other end on the top rail. Corrections Technician Durso immediately informed corrections deputies who immediately responded and were able to safely secure and handcuff the distraught inmate during a stressful and chaotic incident.

Corrections Technician Durso displayed the professionalism, calm demeanor and the command presence it took to ensure a safe resolution of this incident.  His actions no doubt prevented serious injury and preserved a life.


2022 CORRECTIONS DEPUTY OF THE MONTH

The recipients were selected from the 280 Corrections Deputies who serve in the Jail Complex.

January

Corporal Michael Oldham, Corporal Anthony Moore and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe

While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Oldham and Field Training Officer Corey Grubbe were alerted to a possible medical issue with an inmate in one of the cells.  As they arrived at the cell, they observed an inmate laying on the ground unresponsive.  Corporal Oldham requested medical assistance while FTO Grubbe placed the inmate in the recovery position and attempted to clear their airway.  Corporal Anthony Moore responded and assisted with CPR on the inmate.  In addition to CPR, an AED was also utilized to deliver four shocks to the unresponsive inmate.  Brevard County Fire Rescue responded and transported the inmate to an area hospital where additional medical care could be provided.

Due to the quick response, poise and teamwork of these corrections deputies, the inmate was able to survive this emergency medical event.

February

Corrections Corporal Heather Thomas

Corrections Corporal Heather Thomas obtained information pertaining to inmates smuggling narcotics laced on papers into the jail complex utilizing legal paperwork. She learned the suspect was coordinating with other inmates to bring the drug laced paperwork back for him from their court hearing.  The suspect would contact his girlfriend to coordinate the drop off of the paperwork based on the inmate’s court date, who then transported the documents back to the jail.  Corporal Thomas contacted Special Investigations who conducted the investigation that culminated in the arrest of the inmate and his girlfriend.

It is without a doubt that the actions and attention to detail of Corporal Thomas saved many inmates from potential drug overdose or other issues related to the narcotics that were seized before they could be distributed throughout the jail complex. This case has also set a precedence on how the jail complex processes all legal mail with the inmate being provided a copy, not the original.

March

Corrections Deputy Shauna Dankins

Corrections Deputy Shauna Dankins was recently placed on a night shift rotation in facility maintenance, where her duties included supervising inmate workers in the performance of their jobs, assisting shifts with various maintenance needs and ensuring the Jail Complex maintained an inspection ready level of cleanliness.

After attending a tour of another facility, Corrections Deputy Dankins learned new techniques to build upon and improve the appearance of the Brevard County Jail Complex.  She was able to take what was learned from the experience and immediately apply it.  She has since overseen the cleaning, stripping and waxing of floors within the Jail Complex, which has greatly improved the appearance of the jail in a short amount of time. Corrections Deputy Dankins demonstrated exceptional personal initiative and increased efficiency for the personnel of facility maintenance.

April

Corrections Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook

While working at the Brevard County Jail Complex, Corrections Corporal Travis Cooper and Corrections Deputy Shavonne Cook were alerted to an issue in one of the housing units by inmates asking for assistance. Corporal Cooper and Corrections Deputy Cook immediately responded and found an inmate hanging from the top tier with a sheet tied around her neck. They immediately grabbed the inmate’s legs and lifted her up, relieving the pressure from her neck.

While Corporal Cooper continued to hold the inmate’s legs, Corrections Deputy Cook quickly ran up the stairs and successfully removed the sheet allowing Corporal Cooper to gently lower the inmate to the ground where he immediately initiated CPR until the inmate became responsive.  The Jail Complex medical team took over care until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue.  The inmate was transported to an area hospital where she was medically cleared and returned to the Jail Complex with no significant injuries. The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Corporal Cooper and Correction Deputy Cook directly resulted in saving the inmate’s life.

May

Corrections Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius and Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens              

When a brush fire erupted east of the Jail Complex and quickly spread to the north with many homes in its path, the Communication Center called for any available units to respond and assist with evacuating homes in the path of the fire. Corrections Sergeant Kristina Isbell, Field Training Officer Brian Claudius and Corrections Deputy Brian Stevens responded to the area.

While on scene, Sergeant Isbell and Corrections Deputy Stevens assisted other patrol deputies and Brevard County Fire Rescue with evacuating homes, helping citizens with special needs and directing traffic away from the affected area. FTO Claudius (a volunteer firefighter himself) assisted BCFR with extinguishing structure fires and saving several other structures from fire damage.

Due to the quick actions of Sergeant Isbell, FTO Claudius and Corrections Deputy Stevens, they were able to help prevent any further loss of property and assist our citizens to safety.

June

Corrections Corporal Jose Rodriguez

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office with a missing person investigation. Corporal Jose Rodriguez responded to their call for assistance along with his cadaver K9 partner, Tito.

The search for the missing person involved multiple first responders from nine different agencies. At one point, everyone involved in the search was asked to search east of where the missing person’s SUV was located. Corporal Rodriguez felt the missing person would have had a difficult time walking directly east from her original location due to the amount of brush in the area and lack of trails. Corporal Rodriguez suggested he begin to search in an area northeast of where the vehicle was found.

Corporal Rodriguez and K9 Tito were the first to locate remains of the missing person and the search was then concentrated in the area he focused on. Corporal Rodriguez and K9 Tito have proven to be a valuable asset to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and several other counties throughout the state of Florida.

July

Corrections Deputy Dashawn Edward                                   

Upon receiving a tip from an informant, Corrections Deputy Deshawn Edward initiated an investigation in regards to an inmate who was possibly in possession of fentanyl within the Jail Complex.  Corrections Deputy Edward began to monitor the movements of the inmate and observed him meeting with, and handing off a pair of socks to another inmate.  He then made contact with the second inmate and searched the socks leading to the discovery of a clear baggie containing a white powdery substance which field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl and heroin.

 His investigation led to criminal charges against the inmate for possession and trafficking of the illegal narcotics.  The actions taken by Corrections Deputy Edward stopped the fentanyl and heroin from being consumed and distributed within the jail.

August

Field Training Officer Elizabeth Hamilton

Field Training Officer Elizabeth Hamilton has selflessly purchased school supplies for many of her coworkers who were needing help obtaining the necessary supplies for their children for the upcoming school year.  She met with each and every one of the employees who reached out to her and delivered school supplies to them.

As if this was not enough, FTO Hamilton generously purchased and donated enough school supplies to assist close to 800 children within the community.  Without her generosity and selfless actions, these children along with the children of her coworkers, would not have had the supplies needed to start and successfully make it through the school year.

September

Corporal Michael Peterson and Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel                                                

While working at the Jail Complex, Corporal Michael Peterson was alerted to a possible medical emergency in one of the housing units.  Field Training Officer Ryan Hummel responded to the area where he found an inmate displaying labored breathing and unresponsive to verbal commands. FTO Hummel delivered a sternum rub which also was met with no response. With the assistance of Corporal Peterson, the inmate was repositioned and CPR was administered.  Corporal Peterson provided rescue breaths while FTO Hummel delivered chest compressions.

The teamwork of these two correctional deputies ultimately resulted in the inmate beginning to regain consciousness.  The inmate was transported to the hospital where he made a full recovery.  During this incident, Corporal Peterson and FTO Hummel utilized their training and experience to provide the inmate with life-saving care.

October

Corrections Corporal Michael Peterson, Corrections Corporal ShaRhonda Haynes, Corrections Corporal Adam Turco, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez                

While working at the Jail Complex, Corrections Deputy Brianna Figner was alerted to a possible medical emergency in one of the housing units. Upon responding to the area, Corrections Deputy Figner found an unresponsive inmate that was blue in the face and appeared to not be breathing. Corrections Deputy Figner performed multiple sternum rubs before requesting medical assistance.

After moving the inmate from his assigned top bunk to the floor where life-saving efforts could be conducted, Correction Deputy Figner began providing chest compressions. Corrections Corporal Adam Turco responded with, and applied the AED as Corporal Peterson, Corporal Turco, Corporal ShaRhonda Haynes and Corrections Deputy Lindsey Martinez all performed life-saving measures which ultimately resulted in the AED administering one shock to the inmate.

The collective efforts of these corrections deputies resulted in the inmate receiving additional medical care and ultimately making a full recovery.

November

Field Training Officer Kevin Tesmacher

While off duty, Field Training Officer Tesmacher responded to a medical emergency which involved a long-time friend of approximately 20 years. During a pool tournament, the friend suddenly collapsed and began to have a seizure. FTO Tesmacher quickly placed the male onto his side, and in the recovery position. After a few minutes, the friend’s health declined and he stopped breathing. FTO Tesmacher immediately began administering CPR until Brevard County Fire Recue arrived on scene. Due to FTO Tesmacher’s quick response, the life of his dear friend was saved.

December

Corrections Deputy David Dew and Field Training Officer Melody Hunter                                                                                                                                    

After information was received that there were possible narcotics in a housing unit, a plan was developed to search the area. During the search, Field Training Officer Melody Hunter located a white, powdery substance inside folded-up court paperwork. The substance was field tested and determined to be heroin.

After the search had been completed and all inmates were removed from the housing unit, Corrections Deputy David Dew conducted a walk-through of the dayroom area to ensure no other contraband was present. In the process, he located a piece of tissue paper balled up that contained a large number of pills that were later identified as narcotics. A follow up investigation was conducted and the inmate who tried to conceal the pills in the tissue was identified.

As a direct result of FTO Hunter’s and Corrections Deputy Dew’s attention to detail, a large amount of narcotics were seized and the inmates responsible were charged.


2022 DEPUTIES OF THE MONTH

The recipients were selected from the 510 Sheriff’s Deputies who work as Patrol Deputies, Court Deputies and Investigative Agents throughout the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

JANUARY

Deputy Josh Chamberlain

Deputy Josh Chamberlain was dispatched to a wooded area in Grant in reference to an off-road vehicle crash site that was located deep in the woods.  Knowing that an emergency vehicle could not reach the scene due to the terrain, Deputy Chamberlain entered the woods on foot in an effort to find the victim.  After several minutes, he was able to locate the crash site after observing the headlights of the overturned vehicle.

Deputy Chamberlain observed that the victim’s left arm was maimed to the point of near amputation.  Deputy Chamberlain immediately applied a tourniquet to the victim’s injured arm to stop the bleeding and placed him in the back of a modified off-road jeep that was at the scene.  He then transported the victim out of the woods to the roadway where emergency medical personnel were waiting.

The quick response and immediate life saving measures taken by Deputy Chamberlain directly resulted in the saving of this man’s life.

FEBRUARY

Agent Mike Spadafora

Agent Mike Spadafora began investigating a CyberTip received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, reporting that a user of Yahoo e-mail had uploaded over 600 images and videos of suspected child abuse material to their servers.

Agent Spadafora suspected these images were being produced by a suspect living in Merritt Island.  Further investigation revealed the suspect had access to a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, who were believed to be the children in the images.  Due to the immediate need to protect these children from further abuse, a search warrant was obtained and served at the suspect’s residence.  Based upon the evidence collected from the search, the suspect was arrested.  As a result of Agent Spadafora’s investigation, the suspect has pled guilty and will soon be sentenced.

Through his efforts and dedication, Agent Spadafora saved two young children from further abuse by their family member and was able to provide them with counseling and other services needed.

MARCH

Agent Gary Haas

Agent Gary Haas and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement initiated a joint investigation into a potential human trafficking ring affecting multiple jurisdictions. As a result of the very complex investigation, agents found evidence the suspects had recruited three juvenile females to perform sex acts with them for money. Further investigation also revealed the suspects, on multiple occasions, had video recorded the sex acts being performed with the victims.

As a result of the investigation, both suspects were arrested for multiple counts of human trafficking, use of a minor in a sexual performance and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.  The proficiency of Agent Haas in investigating this case removed two dangerous sexual predators from the community and allowed the healing process to begin for the juvenile victims.

APRIL

Deputy Thomas Farragher

During the past year, Deputy Thomas Farragher has conducted numerous traffic stops resulting in one hundred Driving Under the Influence arrests as well as several arrests for the possession of illegal narcotics.  Deputy Farragher’s passion for DUI enforcement is so evident, he has taken it upon himself to attend advanced DUI trainings to help with his own education and experience.  The State Attorney’s Office is also recommending Deputy Farragher to submit his application to the Drug Recognition Expert School, which requires State Attorney’s Office approval. Currently, there are no Drug Recognition Experts employed with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of his actions, over 100 impaired and potentially dangerous drivers were apprehended and removed from the streets of Brevard County. The last time a BCSO Deputy has completed 100 Driving Under the Influence arrests within a single year was in 2017.

MAY

Agent Dan Magill

East Precinct deputies responded to a residence in Merritt Island in reference to a mailbox that had been blown up with an improvised explosive device. Agent Dan Magill was contacted and began an investigation into the incident.

He learned the victim had just moved into the residence 48 hours prior and the landscaper for the property was owed money by the prior tenant. Agent Magill obtained residential video surveillance which showed a black sport utility vehicle, driven by a white male with a beard, exit the truck at the neighbor’s residence. Agent Magill was able to identify the owner of the SUV who was on felony probation.

Throughout the night and into the early morning hours, Agent Magill developed probable cause and drafted an arrest warrant for the suspect and a search warrant for his residence. Later that morning during the execution of the search warrant, the suspect was located and arrested.  Agent Magill’s efforts led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of evidence to substantiate the initial crime as well as the recovery of additional improvised explosive devices.

JUNE   

Deputy Sean Maze

Deputy Sean Maze responded to the area of Via Salerno Court, Merritt Island, in reference to a report that two female juveniles had been struck by lightning.  As Deputy Maze approached the girls, he observed one was responsive and gasping, “help me.” The other juvenile’s face was blue in color and she had blood around her mouth. Deputy Maze immediately assessed the unresponsive juvenile and found she had no pulse and was not breathing.

Deputy Maze retrieved an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from his patrol vehicle and returned to the victim to render aid. Deputy Maze then initiated CPR until he observed the lips of the victim begin to move.  Upon the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, the victims were transported to an area hospital for medical treatment.

The swift response and life saving measures employed by Deputy Maze were essential in preserving the life of the juvenile female initially found to be unresponsive at the scene.

JULY

Deputy Joe Batch, Deputy Christina Cea, Field Training Officer Matt Bialobrzeski

East Precinct deputies responded to an apartment complex in Merritt Island in reference to a frantic call to 911 about a male that was actively hanging himself while the caller was on the phone. Based on previous calls, dispatch was able to direct deputies to the location where the incident was occurring in the large apartment complex.

Deputy Joe Batch responded to the location and quickly located the residence in the complex.  As he entered the residence, he observed a female yelling and moving frantically, telling him the father to her child was hanging in the living room. As he approached the male, he observed him hanging from a bed sheet that was attached to the second floor bannister. Deputy Batch checked the male and was able to detect a faint pulse. Deputy Batch then positioned himself where he could pick the male up to relieve some pressure from the knot around his neck, holding him in this position until other deputies arrived.

Deputy Christina Cea arrived on scene and assisted Deputy Batch with holding the male while Field Training Officer Matt Bialobrzeski cut the sheet. They lowered the male down to the floor where he started to breathe but was still unconscious.  Brevard County Fire Rescue arrived and transported the male to an area hospital where he eventually made a full recovery.

There is no doubt the actions of Deputy Batch, Deputy Cea and FTO Bialobrzeski directly attributed to the successful outcome and preservation of life.

AUGUST 

Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli

On the evening of June 25, 2022, South Precinct deputies received radio notification the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office was pursuing a vehicle being driven by an individual who had taken two hostages and had discharged a firearm several times at their deputies. Several Brevard County deputies responded to the area to assist in apprehending the suspect and rescuing the hostages.

The suspect’s vehicle ultimately came to a stop in the area of Foley Lane in Grant ­ Valkaria. Lieutenant Brandon Gish, Corporal Jose Santos, K-9 Deputy Andrew Johnson, K-9 Deputy Josh Hardy and Deputy Kirby Gobeli arrived on scene, becoming involved in the standoff that ensued.

After a brief time of failed negotiations, the suspect emerged from the vehicle with one of the hostages being held closely to his body with a firearm pushed against the female hostage’s head. The suspect was able to retreat with the hostage into the wood line under the cover of darkness.

These deputies, along with personnel from the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and Sebastian Police Department, formed a hostage rescue team and pursued the suspect on foot into the woods.

As the pursuit continued, the rescue team came into contact with the suspect and his hostage in a clearing. Once the suspect was illuminated by the light of STAR, gunshots were exchanged by Corporal Santos, the suspect, and other members of the rescue team, resulting in the suspect being killed and the hostage being rescued. Deputy Gobeli immediately began to render medical aid to the rescued hostage who was relatively unharmed and escorted her away from the scene to safety.

Throughout the entirety of the incident, in spite of being fired upon and having limited to no visibility in the darkness, these deputy sheriffs displayed a calm and collected demeanor which directly contributed to the success of the rescue mission described.  Because of their resolve, bravery, and fearlessness, there was no further injury or loss of life to the hostages.

SEPTEMBER

Sergeant Cory Jackson

While serving in the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim’s Unit as an investigative agent, Sergeant Cory Jackson was assigned an investigation in which Department of Children and Families alleged that an adult male suspect engaged in sexual intercourse with a fourteen-year-old female.

Sergeant Jackson’s investigation revealed the suspect met the victim and established an online relationship with the intent to groom her for future sexual encounters. On one occasion, the victim agreed to meet the male at a local park. The male lured the victim into his van and drove her to an abandoned warehouse.  While at the warehouse, the male provided the victim with drugs and engaged in sexual relations with her throughout the night, during which he photographed and video-recorded the sessions.

During the course of the 22-month investigation, Sergeant Jackson drafted and served multiple search warrants and conducted multiple interviews to ensure he could obtain as much evidence as possible to prove the multiple sexual attacks of the 14-year-old victim. Sergeant Jackson ultimately presented the case to the State Attorney’s Office to ensure the suspect would not be free to victimize any other children in the future.

OCTOBER

Deputy Andrew Schoener, Field Training Officer Christian Portocarrero, Deputy Tyler Conway

Deputy Andrew Schoener, Field Training Officer Christian Portocarrero and Deputy Tyler Conway responded to an accident where a golf cart had crashed into a canal.  Dispatch further advised an elderly female was trapped under water, under the golf cart, and an elderly male was trying to get her out.

FTO Portocarrero was first to arrive on scene and was directed to a canal, filled with water and steep sides, making ascent or descent into the canal very difficult. FTO Portocarrero noticed an elderly male sitting in the water, with water rising to the level of his upper chest and an elderly female submerged, face down in the water, at the front of the golf cart. FTO Portocarrero did not hesitate and descended into the canal to render aid.

FTO Portocarrero approached the elderly female and quickly discovered her right shoulder was pinned under the golf cart and her right arm was stuck underneath the floorboard area. FTO Portocarrero lifted the front end of the golf cart, high enough to free the elderly female’s shoulder and arm. After freeing her, FTO Portocarrero rolled the female over and observed her eyes were open but she was not breathing and did not have a pulse. At this time, Deputy Schoener arrived on scene and descended into the canal without hesitation, and immediately assisted FTO Portocarrero in moving the female to the bank of the canal. Once on the bank, they began life saving measures by performing CPR.

Deputy Conway soon arrived on scene, assisting Deputy Schoener and FTO Portocarrero in moving the elderly female up the steep embankment until the arrival of Brevard County Fire Rescue, who assumed the lifesaving measures on the elderly female. As this was occurring, Deputy Schoener descended back into the canal to assist the elderly male that was still in the water.

Deputy Schoener discovered the elderly male was injured and did not have the strength to ascend out of the steep canal. Deputy Schoener held the male up, until FTO Portocarrero, and a medic with BCFR, assisted him in lifting the elderly male out of the water, carrying him up the steep embankment to safety.

FTO Portocarrero, Deputy Schoener, and Deputy Conway displayed outstanding abilities by effectively working together, as a team, to assist in providing lifesaving measures for the two elderly citizens, by removing them from harm’s way where they could receive proper medical treatment.

NOVEMBER

Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle      

Hurricane Nicole impacted the east coast of Florida causing severe wind, rain and intense surf conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, Banana River and Indian River.

During the height of the storm, the Communications Center received a call from a male who advised that his sailboat had broken free from its mooring and was now beginning to fill with water.  Hearing the call for assistance, Chief Pilot John Coppola and Aviation Mechanic Mike Ryle responded to the area with an inflatable Zodiac boat.

Upon arriving in the area, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle launched the inflatable boat and battled the rough conditions while making their way to the sailboat.  Once at the sailboat, they were able to safely bring him aboard and return to the shoreline while continuing to battle the rough conditions.  The male was turned over to the Cocoa Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue who provided medical care.

During this event, Chief Pilot Coppola and Mechanic Ryle placed their own safety in danger in order to conduct the water rescue.  Their efforts most likely saved the life of this boater during a natural disaster.

DECEMBER

Agent Kyle Pemberton

Agent Kyle Pemberton initiated an investigation into a major drug trafficking organization that would span six months. Based on his investigative efforts, the Drug Enforcement Administration adopted the case federally. The case was brought before a Federal Grand Jury where an indictment was issued for multiple federal charges related to the distribution of dangerous narcotics.

Immediately following the indictment, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team executed the federal search warrant at the suspect’s residence.  During the search of the residence, fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine were located.  Multiple handguns were also recovered with one being reported stolen from Titusville.

Because of his hard work, Agent Pemberton removed a dangerous convicted felon off the streets of Brevard County who was poisoning the citizens and contributing to the drug pandemic we face in our country every day.