BSO HOLDS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR FALLEN HEROES
DATE: August 12, 2013 PIO NUMBER: 13-8-15
The Broward Sheriff’s Office will hold a memorial service at 10 a.m. August 15 to honor eight former Broward law enforcement officers and two fire rescue personnel.
10 a.m., August 15, 2013
Public Safety Building
2601 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
On August 24, 1915, a month before Broward County was created, Gus Fears ended an argument with his wife with his shotgun, shooting the woman four times. A neighbor ran to summon Dania Town Marshal W.L. (William Louis) Cox, 32. As Marshal Cox approached the house, Fears cut him down with a shotgun blast. Dade County Sheriff Hardie was called “by long distance telephone” and he immediately drove to Dania with two deputies. When they arrived they found Fears shot to death, apparently the result of suicide.
Deputy Arthur Fillebrown was 24 years old when he became the first Broward County deputy to die in the line of duty back on August 26, 1957. He had been on the job for just three weeks - long enough to be trained in those days - and it was his first day alone on patrol. The rookie deputy responded to a call of an overturned truck in a canal at Bailey Road and State Road 7. Running with his lights and siren on, his marked unit collided with a passenger train at the Prospect Road crossing, which had no lights or signals back then. Deputy Fillebrown died instantly.
Deputy Robert Milligan was an experienced and well-respected law enforcement officer when he was shot in the line of duty on August 9, 1978 and died three days later. He attended high school in Hollywood, and after leaving the U.S. Army, joined the Hollywood Police force, serving from 1949 to 1974. In 1976, he joined the Broward Sheriff's Office as a civil deputy. Deputy Milligan was serving an eviction notice in Lauderhill when he sustained a fatal gunshot wound.
On July 13 1979, Deputy Joseph Conte was ambushed and gunned down while escorting prisoners from the Broward County Jail to a medical office in Fort Lauderdale. One of the inmates - a man whose nickname was “Mad Dog” - had planned an escape. He got his girlfriend to hire a gunman, promising to pay him $15,000, which they did not have, and then he complained of a toothache. As Deputy Conte led the inmate from a detention van to the doctor’s office, he was confronted by the gunman and was shot and killed.
Pompano Beach Police Officer Scott Winters was shot and killed July 29, 1990 during a struggle with a violent suspect. Officer Winters and his K9 partner, Baron, were assisting in the search for a man wanted for beating and raping a young girl. When Officer Winters located the suspect a violent struggle ensued and the suspect gained control of his service weapon. He was shot twice below his vest. The suspect was apprehended and sentenced to death.
Broward County Fire Rescue Captain Raymond Kerr passed away on August 8, 2003. Capt. Kerr began his fire service career in 1982 as a volunteer with the Town of Pembroke Park and soon became a full-time firefighter. He obtained additional training and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming a captain and acting fire chief. In 1999, when Pembroke Park merged with Broward County, he continued to serve with dedication and distinction.
On August 19, 2004, 33-year-old Deputy Todd Fatta was working with a special task force targeting traffickers in child pornography. While serving a search warrant at the Fort Lauderdale home of registered sex offender Kenneth Wilk, who was suspected of being involved with child pornography, Deputy Fatta was shot and killed by the suspect. Wilk was apprehended and charged with Deputy Fatta’s murder.
Driver/Engineer Michael Douthitt, a 23-year veteran, was assigned to Station 17 in West Park. In the early morning hours of July 2, 2007, Station 17 units responded to a working structure fire at 61 West Lake Dr. in Pembroke Park. After returning to the station, D/E Douthitt felt ill, went home and was subsequently hospitalized for a cardiac event. He was released from the hospital later that week. On July 13, 2007, while at home with his wife, he went into cardiac arrest. He later died at Wellington Regional Hospital in Palm Beach County.
Sergeant Chris Reyka was highly praised by his superiors and peers for his steadfast dedication, keen eye and reliability. In the early morning hours of August 10, 2007, he was gunned down while checking on a suspicious vehicle outside a Pompano Beach Walgreens store. Sergeant Reyka was 51 years old. The homicide is still under investigation.
Deputy Christopher Schaub began his career with BSO in 1990 after serving for four years with the Livingston (N.J.) Police Department. At age 47, he was fatally injured in a traffic crash while on duty Sept. 26, 2012. He had been riding his BSO motorcycle at the time. A dedicated employee, Deputy Schaub’s personnel file is filled with awards and letters of commendation. His son, Tim, is also a BSO deputy.
During the service, Sheriff Scott Israel and others will say a few words in remembrance of the fallen heroes.
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