Sheriff Hoffman Hosts Awards Ceremony

NEWS RELEASE 21-031 - MAY 20, 2021

Law Enforcement Deputies Brandon Burnside, Alexander Conly, and Kyle Chesney, Corrections Deputy Teima Henderson, and Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman.

Sarasota County Sheriff Kurt A. Hoffman recognized several employees for their extraordinary dedication to duty Thursday during a ceremony.  

Corrections Deputy Teima Henderson received the Life Saving Award for her efforts to save an inmate. On February 22, 2021, Deputy Henderson was working in the medical wing of the facility when an inmate began choking. Although several nurses and other deputies were in the area, Deputy Henderson used her agency training to quickly assess the situation. She immediately realized the inmate was in imminent danger and could not clear his airway. Deputy Henderson performed the Heimlich maneuver two different times, stopping to reassess the victim after each maneuver. On the second maneuver, Deputy Henderson successfully dislodged the foreign object. Deputy Henderson’s quick actions in a life-threatening situation saved the inmate’s life. Not only did Deputy Henderson render aid but she did so while maintaining security and control of the medical unit simultaneously. The inmate was recovered and was medically cleared by nursing staff.

Deputy Brandon Burnside received the Heroic Achievement Award for his efforts to stop a wrong-way driver. On February 17, 2021, at 1:15 a.m., Deputy Burnside responded to a report of a wrong-way driver northbound on SR 681 in the southbound lanes of I-75. Deputy Burnside quickly responded and started traveling southbound on I-75 from Clark Road. Several calls from the motoring public were relayed to deputies about the approximate location of the wrong-way driver. As Deputy Burnside continued traveling southbound on I-75, he looked in his rearview mirror and realized there was still a significant amount of traffic traveling behind him to include three semi-trucks. Deputy Burnside then noticed the wrong-way driver’s headlights heading toward him in the inside lane of travel. Deputy Burnside activated his emergency lights to warn traffic behind him to slow down. When his emergency lights were activated, Deputy Burnside noticed the wrong-way driver immediately moved from the inside lane of travel into the center lane that Deputy Burnside was utilizing. The wrong-way driver was not slowing down and continued toward Deputy Burnside in the center lane. Making a conscious decision to prevent the possible loss of life to the motorists traveling behind him, Deputy Burnside held his ground in his lane of travel, slowed significantly, and purposely stayed in the path of the wrong-way driver. Deputy Burnside’s vehicle was ultimately struck at an estimated speed of 70 MPH, pushing his patrol vehicle backward approximately 10-15 feet. The vehicle that struck him was a total loss with heavy front-end damage however, thanks to Deputy Burnside’s actions, no drivers or passengers on the interstate were struck or injured. The wrong-way driver was ultimately arrested for DUI. 

Deputies Alexander Conly, Michael Davis, and Kyle Chesney received the Combat Cross Award for their efforts during a critical incident in Sarasota. On January 3, 2021, deputies responded to the 5000 block of Wilkinson Road, for the report of a suicidal male suspect armed with a handgun. When deputies arrived, they located the suspect in the parking lot. Deputies began attempting to de-escalate the situation by having a dialogue with the suspect however, a few minutes into the conversation, the suspect became agitated and discharged a round from his handgun into the air. There were no reported injuries from the gunshot, so deputies continued communicating and attempting to de-escalate the situation. The suspect then pointed his handgun at a deputy, resulting in all three deputies discharging their agency-issued firearms. Deputies immediately rendered first aid while the Sarasota County Fire Department responded to the scene. The suspect was transported to the hospital for further treatment. As a result of the deputies’ and paramedics’ life-saving efforts, the suspect stabilized and eventually recovered from the incident.    

“I am extremely proud of the deputies honored today for their heroic actions,” commented Sheriff Hoffman. “In all three incidents, deputies put their personal safety to the side to protect the community we serve. I am grateful for their efforts and most of all, grateful they each went home safe at the end of their shifts.”