Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Well Done Trooper Howard of The Florida Highway Patrol!

Dear Sirs:

First of all, I want to send a “well done” to Trooper S. Howard (#2073, Troop G) for his outstanding performance in handling what could have been a very serious situation.

On January 19, 2009 I was driving north on I 95 near Jacksonville, Florida when Trooper Howard was wrongly advised by the U.S. Secret Service that I was a potential assassin of the new president and had a van full of weapons. I was made aware of this information on January 21st by way of a reliable confidential informant in the federal government.

When Trooper Howard heard this bit of disinformation and thinking it was the gospel truth, he immediately swung into action when he spotted my vehicle traveling north on I-95 at about the same time I spotted him. Trooper Howard then turned on his emergency equipment and I pulled over to the shoulder of the road. The next thing I saw was a puff of smoke that smelled like burning rubber, and I braced for an accident, as I thought someone was going to rear end Trooper Howard's vehicle and push it into my car.

I should note traffic was very busy that day – three lanes of I-95 traffic moving over at speeds in excess of 60 miles of hour. Upon reflection, I think the “brake smoke” I saw and smelled came from a marked Florida Highway Patrol vehicle parked on the left side of the busy highway driven by a middle aged female Trooper who came charging across three lanes of busy I-95 traffic at great risk of life and limb to back up her fellow Trooper she thought was a potentially serious incident with an alleged presidential assassin.

In the course of the traffic spot I spoke to both officers who remained calm, cool and very professional. This was especially impressive based on the Secret Service disinformation – many officers would have come at me “locked and cocked” but I didn't observe hands on weapons by either officer, but as a former military policeman (95B U.S. Army Reserve, Melbourne, Florida 1971-72) I know that even routine traffic stops can turn into combat situation, so I know both officers were ready.

After asking for my license and registration, Trooper Howard and the female officer went back to Trooper Howard's vehicle to write a citation. I observed the two officers in my rear view mirror for about five minutes. I don't know what was discussed, but I can well imagine – they both realized the truth obtained from my demeanor, conversation and what they could observe of my cargo – this was a bogus report and they had been used by people they thought were reliable and co- law enforcement officers – I refer to the Secret Service – and I'm sure they both also understood they could have been killed by the heavy traffic running only feet away.

The female officer then approached my vehicle and we had brief conversation about the merits of the vehicle I was driving. Clearly from her demeanor and words I drew the conclusion that the FHP did not view this as a serious situation and this was confirmed by Trooper Howard a few minutes later who gave me a warning instead of a citation for the traffic stop. He cited my superior driving record as the authority.

So departed from the traffic stop and the Sunshine State of Florida. Today I'm somewhere in Texas. I like Texas, the Lone Star State and former republic, the scene of the Alamo and the gallant stand made by greatest freedom fighters in the 19th century against the tyranny of Santa Anna, the dictator of Mexico and “Napoleon of the West”...Also, Texas voted against the latest chapter of the Santa Ana theme. Yes, in the great state of Texas one breathes the air of liberty and rubs shoulders with serious men and women who love liberty more than life itself. It is no wonder that the most decorated soldier in American history was a Texan, Audie Murphy.

Sincerely, Ronbo


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