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Not a good time to be an LEO here...


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  • Not a good time to be an LEO here...

    From I'm ready to see the full investigation, but I guess someone within the newspaper has all of the facts already since it appears by their writing that the officers involved are already guilty.

    It's really is, and I truly hope that FDLE does their usual bang up job to find all the facts. But, rest assured, this is only the beginning of the troubles.

    The only...ONLY interview conducted by one of our TV stations was Joe Citizen who piped up with "all they did was drink a few beers and drive drunk and drive drunk. They didn't have to shoot them." we shoot anyone just for driving drunk. Granted, it would alleviate the repeat problemms, but that's not the cure.

    There was passing mention of a pursuit but nothing else that would throw up any red flags besides the mention that officers felt "threatened". I'm sure more is to be unearthed over the coming months and hopefully then the media will have a little more to report on the incident.

    Cops kill Mascotte council member
    By Mark K. Matthews and Susan Jacobson | Sentinel Staff Writers
    Posted February 25, 2002

    GROVELAND -- A night out for two buddies ended early Sunday after a five-minute high-speed chase and a hail of police bullets that left a Mascotte city councilman dead and the driver of their red Ford Bronco injured.

    Steve Allred, 42, died from bullet wounds. Roger David Schoenbergerin, 35, of Groveland was in stable condition Sunday night at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

    "This is possibly the most difficult thing I've encountered since I've been mayor," said Mascotte Mayor Stanley Sloan, a neighbor of Allred's. "I know it's been the most tragic, without any reservations."

    The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating why the police from Mascotte and its sister city, Groveland, ended a traffic stop with gunfire just outside the entrance to the new suburban houses along Villa City Road.

    What pushed patrol officers from these old citrus communities of south Lake County to kill Allred and put Schoenbergerin in the hospital?

    And investigators must piece together why the two didn't stop.

    For now, Mascotte and Groveland police are not releasing much information about the case, including what started the pursuit and who fired the fatal shots.

    Mascotte Officer Guillermo Gonzalez, a rookie, attempted to stop Schoenbergerin's Ford. Schoenbergerin continued cruising with the squad car behind him.

    A second cruiser from Groveland joined as the chase crossed the town line between the cities, said Lt. Rocky Barr of Groveland. In that car sat Officer Sander Smith and Officer Shane Mowery, two police officers "with a pretty clean record," Barr said.

    Rules governing chases differ from agency to agency, but under Mascotte's policy, a commanding officer needs to know whether there is a pursuit because often a highly elusive or speedy suspect is abandoned because of safety concerns. It's a judgment call, made between the officers out on the streets and the superiors, said Mascotte police Chief Gene Wadkins.

    But on Sunday morning, that call was not made. And within minutes of the chase starting, it stopped on Villa City Road, about a half-mile north of State Road 50 near the entrance to Lake Catherine Shores.

    All the cars involved were facing north, blocking the roadway.

    Lewis Klaber, who was watching television, heard the sirens and thought, "There's going to be some action." So he looked out toward a small grove of trees at the end of his driveway and watched as the pursuit moved by "at about 40 mph."

    Moments later, he heard the cars grind to a stop a few hundred feet past his house. Within two minutes, he heard gunshots.

    "The first time there was about six shots," Klaber said. "Then there was a pause, and there was about six to eight more."

    Usually, in a traffic stop after a chase, Wadkins said, officers walk around and in front of the suspect's vehicle to take control.

    This time, he said, the Ford lunged forward, hitting one of the officers.

    Joining police at the scene Sunday, FDLE investigators collected evidence. They plan to meet today with the police chiefs.

    Sloan, Mascotte's mayor, who lives a few houses down from Steve Allred, said he is more worried about Allred's family than he is about the council.

    Allred, elected to the City Council in 2000, was a staff craftsman at Walt Disney World. Disney spokesman Bob Jimenez said Allred, who had worked there since 1988, most recently worked as a mechanic in the facilities shop at Epcot.

    Karen, had been visiting her parents in North Florida when she learned of her husband's death. Steve Allred's father, Earl, is a patient at ORMC, awaiting heart surgery.

    Sloan called Allred a straight arrow, someone firm in his convictions. The Allreds have lived in Mascotte since 1962.

    Allred, a 1978 graduate of Groveland High School and the U.S. Army Military Police School at Fort McClellan, Ala., told the Orlando Sentinel in June, "My parents moved me here at an early age, but I did have a wonderful childhood growing up in Mascotte and cannot think of another place I would have chosen. Even though we are growing at a fast pace, we still have enough of the small-town atmosphere that makes south Lake such a great place to live and raise a family."

  • #2
    This incident and others like it could easily be prevented. All they had to do was stop and take their punishment like men. Instead of using common sense, they try to get away. I wouldn't want to spend a night in jail either, but it would be better than being dead or in the hospital.


    • #3
      Originally posted by FLLawdog:
      [QB]The only...ONLY interview conducted by one of our TV stations was Joe Citizen who piped up with "all they did was drink a few beers and drive drunk and drive drunk. They didn't have to shoot them."
      I saw this interview too. Mr. Joe Citizen was not there. He has no business saying stuff like that. This is what I heard on another station:

      #1) Vehicle would not stop
      #2) Once stopped, vehicle went in reverse

      Officers do not shoot for nothing. If their life or others lives are in danger, they take action. That is their job. They might not want to but they would rather go home at night than the alternative.

      As for the newspaper, it is never right. There are certain things that the newspapers screws up. 9 times out of 10, I know more about it than they do.
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      • #4
        This time, he said, the Ford lunged forward, hitting one of the officers. -Orlando Sentinel

        Wonder what happened here?

        [ 02-25-2002: Message edited by: comcen ]
        "If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead & rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing."-Ben Franklin

        "Once a Marine, Always a Marine!"


        • #5
          It amazing how they describe the police in this case, one a rookie, and the other two with a pretty clean record. They don't make an attempt on saying about the two people in the trucks records other that one is a city councilman. Looks like they laying the ground work to hang someone out to dry. Hopefully they will get the facts out in this case. The simple thing like someone else said would to just pull to the side of the road and stopped.
          Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.


          • #6
            What pushed patrol officers from these old citrus communities of south Lake County to kill Allred and put Schoenbergerin in the hospital?
            Talk about the paper running away with things.

            The shooting happened about 4 miles from my house. I know all of the offiers involved. We'll have to see what happens in this case. Even my agency is tight lipped on the event. For that matter, If I knew more about it, it would be wrong for me to divulge more info.

            Ironically, I worked part time for EMS on Sunday. I happened to work with the first medic that was on scene Saturday. He told me that one officer was hit by the vehicle, the passenger was DOA and the driver was transported. Basically the same stuff that was in the papers. It's a shame when this happens.
            As my friend says: All Narc, No Bite


            • #7
              Isn't trying to run over a officer with a vehicle grounds for use of deadly force? If I read this correctly the vehicle hit one of the officers so I guess that officer or another used deadly force to protect the officers life. IF that is the case I thik they did what is right. All the two men had to do was stop and face the wrath but being a councilman I bet he presumed that meant he did not have to stop for a pion officer. It is sad that it ended this way and sadder still that these officers are going to be raked over the coals. It is a sad day in law enforcement today.

              Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.


              • #8
                Usually, in a traffic stop after a chase, Wadkins said, officers walk around and in front of the suspect's vehicle to take control.

                Huh? Stand in front of a running vehicle that the driver is still in control of & has shown to be uncooperative? I don't think so!


                • #9
                  Sorry about the cut and paste, but if I link to the article today, there's a good chance it'll be a dead link tomorrow. The Sentinel has a way of doing that with their articles.

                  Anyway, here's Chapter II. Like it would be any shock that the driver has a record. It's also no shock that the lawyers want to bring up excessive force, inexperience, past problems with the officers invloved and the decisions that those officers made that they, themselves, could never make in the same amount of time.

                  It's also no shock that the writer would make any attempt to minimize the CHOICES THAT THE DRIVER MADE THAT EVENTUALLY JEOPORDIZED HIS PASSENGER'S LIFE but, instead, diverted all or most of the blame on the officers who had only one thing to go on: someone in this car is trying to take my life. This is unacceptable and I'm going home to mama tonight.

                  A car is weapon. It's a means of transportation, but it's a 3,500 pound weapon and needs to be respected as such. I've had to do Aggravated Assault/Battery cases involving cars and I word them the same way as I do as if the suspect had a gun..."Defendant did strike victim against their will with a potentially deadly weapon, to wit: a motor vehicle described as:...". A car can kill as quick as a gun or knife, therefore I'm taking no chances. Property hasn't issued me my crystal ball or my "Life Remote" that can pause and rewind an event so we can make the proper decision. Instead, the State gives me training and authority and my agency gives me the opportunity and the equipment. God forbid something like this happens, but it happens and we don't have the luxury of stopping midstream and ask ourselves "what would the Dahli Llama do in a situation like this?" We have to think about the possibility of survivng.

                  Anyway, enough rant for now, here's the next installment...

                  Driver in Lake shooting has long arrest record

                  By Stephanie Erickson, Jason Garcia and Mark K. Matthews | Sentinel Staff Writers
                  Posted February 26, 2002

                  GROVELAND -- At the sight of the police car in his Bronco's rearview mirror, David Schoenberger's first impulse was to run, a lawyer who spoke with him in the hospital said Monday.

                  Schoenberger and his friend Steve Allred had just left a bar early Sunday morning, and Schoenberger wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel. His drivers license had been suspended indefinitely in July.

                  Schoenberger, who police said made a quick turn off State Road 50, even before the cruiser behind it switched on its blue lights, had had several run-ins with police. Last summer they found him kicking a man who was lying unconscious in a pool of blood in the Mascotte Bar parking lot. The brief chase ended in a hail of bullets.

                  Allred, 42, a Mascotte City Council member, died slumped in his friend's lap, his heart, lung and liver pierced by gunshots, according to the Lake County medical examiner.

                  Schoenberger survived, wounded several times in the back and arm. A former girlfriend said Schoenberger told her he had been shot 11 times -- eight times in the back and three in the arm.

                  The death of the popular councilman has brought a firestorm of criticism onto the Mascotte and Groveland police departments, both of which had an officer fire shots into the Bronco.

                  Lawyers want answers

                  On Monday, the police chiefs of both small south Lake towns stood side by side and explained how Mascotte Officer Guillermo Gonzalez became suspicious when he saw the men in the darkened parking lot of Mo's Market, a closed Groveland convenience store. Gonzalez was in Groveland as part of a patrol agreement between the two sister cities.

                  But lawyers for Schoenberger and Allred's family wonder why the traffic stop ended violently.

                  Even as Schoenberger hit the accelerator on his red Ford Bronco, Allred, a father of four, urged him to pull over, said lawyer Richard Langley, who represents Allred's family.

                  Allred, a Walt Disney World craftsman who was elected in 2000, told his friend, according to lawyers, that he could talk their way out of the situation.

                  He never got the chance.

                  A mile after the chase started, the Bronco stopped on Villa City Road. As a Groveland officer stepped out of his car and approached the Bronco, the car went into gear and struck him, Mascotte police said Sunday. On Monday, they refused to answer any more questions about what happened at the stop, but Langley said Schoenberger told him he put the car into reverse and did not see anyone behind him.

                  Moments later, Gonzalez and Groveland Officer Sander Smith fired several rounds into the Bronco.

                  Investigation is under way

                  Gonzalez and Smith have been placed on routine administrative leave. Groveland Officer Larry Shane Mowery was placed on medical leave with a strained thigh and bruised knee, said Groveland police Chief T.R. Merrill, who would not comment on whether Mowery was the officer hit by the Bronco. A Lake-Sumter Emergency Medical Services official said paramedics evaluated an officer at the scene, but the officer refused to be transported.

                  Merrill and Mascotte police Chief Gene Wadkins gave statements to Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators Monday morning. The agency is investigating.

                  Wadkins would not comment on whether a weapon was recovered from the Bronco.

                  "We're not ruling out that there were shots fired from inside the car," Wadkins said.

                  Wadkins and Merrill later defended their officers.

                  "Something had to make these officers afraid," Wadkins said.

                  "And it ain't just somebody being drunk," Merrill said.

                  When Wadkins was called to the scene, he said, he couldn't believe what he saw. Only days before he and Allred had been talking about renovations at the police station.

                  All of it could have been prevented if Schoenberger had just stopped his car, Wadkins said.

                  But Langley, a former state senator, and Michael Graves, Schoenberger's attorney, wasted no time Monday questioning the actions of the officers.

                  "The law-enforcement officers aren't hurt, the victims are unarmed, and you have that many shots fired and that amount of deadly force," said Graves, who said he will represent Schoenberger if criminal charges are filed against him. "The number of gunshots that were fired cause some concern."

                  Langley said the officers should not have fired their guns, and certainly should not have fired at the passenger.

                  "It's a totally unwarranted use of deadly force," Langley said.

                  Charges expected for driver

                  Schoenberger, who stopped in the middle of the road, was simply trying to move the car off the road when he put it into reverse, said Langley, who spoke to Schoenberger at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

                  "He didn't know there was an officer behind his car," Langley said. "The backup lights came on, and the officers shot."

                  Graves said he hopes police are not trying to shift blame to Schoenberger because of his arrest record. Groveland's Chief Merrill said he expects police to charge Schoenberger, though they aren't sure with what.

                  Schoenberger's record also includes charges including domestic violence, burglary and, most recently, aggravated battery. In June, Mascotte police said they saw Schoenberger in the parking lot of the Mascotte Bar repeatedly kicking Michael S. Blair as he lay face-down in a pool of blood.

                  In that case, Schoenberger was ordered to pay $120 a month for 12 months in restitution or face 30 days in jail.

                  As part of an earlier domestic-violence arrest, he was ordered to take an anger-management course, which he completed in February 1999. Later in 1999, Schoenberger was put on 12 months' probation on a domestic-violence charge after he threatened to run over a former girlfriend.

                  History of traffic offenses

                  He also has a history of traffic offenses. Lake County court records show Schoenberger was cited for speeding in 1999 and 2000, failure to obey a traffic-control device in 1999 and careless driving in 2000, when he ran off the road, struck an embankment and flipped his car.

                  In 1998, Schoenberger was charged with fleeing and attempting to elude officers after police pulled him over and tried to detain him during a domestic-violence call. Schoenberger refused to go with the officers. He drove off, and the officers chased him, court records show. The pursuit reached speeds up to 90 mph. The case was later dismissed with a judicial warning.

                  Lisa Patterson, an ex-girlfriend of Schoenberger's, said he was planning to move to Georgia, where his sister lives. He had been detailing cars at Bill Seidle Chevrolet & Oldsmobile in Clermont but had quit that job, she said.

                  On Sunday morning, Schoenberger called Patterson from the hospital, trying to find out whether Allred had died.

                  Patterson, a bartender at Mascotte Bar, said she last saw Schoenberger on Saturday night, about 11 p.m., when he stopped by her home in Clermont before heading to Mascotte Bar. Co-workers at the bar told her that Schoenberger met Allred, who was already at the bar, and that the pair left about 30 minutes later.

                  From inside the dark and smoky Mascotte Bar on Monday morning, locals cursed and raised their voices over what they said must have been a crazed police shootout.

                  Schoenberger "said they just started shooting," Patterson said. "He says he can still hear the bullets."


                  • #10
                    From what I know a vehicle that hits an officer is considered a deadly weapon and deadly force is authorized, this is an unfortunate incident,you know it is always nice to have a couple days or hours for that matter to review the situation, it's a whole other ballgame to have milliseconds to make that same decision on the street.

                    Prayers all around


                    • #11

                      I'm not to fond of most of my council members, but I don't think any of 'em hang out with thugs. Call it guilt by association, but it looks like the driver was a scrote and the council man was a scrote for hanging around with him.
                      It is good to hate the French. -Al Bundy


                      • #12
                        ""The number of gunshots that were fired cause some concern."
                        Why do people always fixate on the number of shots fired? Do people expect an officer to fire ONCE and then stop to evaluate the effect of a single shot? No... If an officer makes the decision to use deadly force, then he uses deadly force... whether it is one shot or several, the object of using deadly force is immediately stop the subject. Once the decision was made, they should fire as much as they feel is neccessary to remove the threat.

                        Just the way I feel, and it is something that always has bothered me.


                        • #13
                          You can thank the media and the movies for the one shot concept. How many movies have you watched where the bad guy is shot one time, and flies through the air to his death.
                          As my friend says: All Narc, No Bite


                          • #14
                            Why didn't these jerks just pull over?... BECAUSE they didn't want to take responsibility for their stupid actions!

                            I would never ever disobey an officer's instructions, wheather it's a verbal command, or seeing the red and blues in my rear view mirror.

                            Has the trend of restricting police pursuits severely undermined the overall authority of the police?

                            I think the liberal, bleeding heart policy makers are giving criminals the run of the city. For all you admin/city council members, the message you send by restricting police pursuits is this: "Hey criminals, go ahead and run from the police in our city. It's OK, they won't chase you. You are more than welcome to commit your crimes in our city and get away with it."

                            Why don't they just put on their city limit boundary signs: "Welcome to Moronville, USA Where criminals run free."

                            I propose a new law providing a mandatory $10000 fine for any idiot who runs from the police, either in a car or on foot. Okay, maybe running on foot would only be an $8000 fine. Oh yeah, and 75% of the fine goes to the pursuing officer(s).

                            My rant is now over. I feel better.
                            "You know it's really hot when you see some old lady driving her Buick with oven mitts on her hands."


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