~ Trooper honored for life saving actions ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol awarded Trooper John Sleigher the Medal of Valor, the highest award bestowed by the Patrol, for his actions during an armed confrontation in Madison County. FHP awards the Medal of Valor for exceptional cases where a member displayed outstanding bravery, gallantry or courage for law enforcement purposes despite hazardous circumstances.
“Trooper Sleigher had a difficult decision to make in a split second, and his decision likely saved the life of a fellow law enforcement officer and the lives of others,” said Colonel David Brierton, director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “His brave actions exemplified the skills we try to instill in all of our troopers.”
On Jan. 8, 2011, at approximately 9:40 a.m., Sleigher and Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy David Myers approached a transient who was illegally camping in a tent in a drainage ditch at the westbound entrance ramp of Interstate-10 from southbound SR 53. They approached the tent from opposite sides of its entrance. Myers announced their presence and asked the transient, later identified as Rudy G. Taylor, to exit the tent. Taylor opened the tent and began to exit it while armed with a 12-gauge pump action, short barreled shot gun pointed in Myers’ direction. Sleigher drew his service weapon, shouted “gun” to alert Myers, and opened fire on the transient. Myers drew his weapon and opened fire. Taylor was fatally wounded as a result.
The Florida Highway Patrol reminds motorists to dial *FHP (*347) on your cell phone to report an impaired driver. Motorists can also request roadside assistance at that number.