They arrested that deputy in Florida seen in video, not advancing to the shooter at that school. It was sad. That brought to mind about courage, and I thought of Roger Beaver.
Roger was a driver license examiner when DPS decided to make them Troopers. They had a choice to go on the road as a road Trooper or stay in DL and be an examiner. Roger chose to hit the road. Roger is not a large fellow, in fact he was a smallish guy, but with a big heart.
The end of the Viet Nam war saw tons of refugees transported into the US. They settled all over but a lot of them went to the Houston area. Annually over the Memorial Day holiday the Vietnamese people held what they called “A boat people reunion” somewhere in Missouri, near Noel or Springfield I have forgotten now.
During that weekend, US 69 looked like the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Four out of five cars were full of what Oneway would call “Viet Cong” but really just people of Vietnamese extraction. Most, I say again, most were good law-abiding citizens; however, when you get thousands of people together, there will be a few criminals show up.
Roger stopped a couple of fellows driving a new car for speeding. He had the driver in the brand-new Ford Mustang, a small car, I had issued him recently. In the process of issuing the citation for speeding and checking ownership of the car they were in; the passenger exits the vehicle on the right side.
Roger was paying attention. The passenger, without saying a word, pointed a pistol at Roger and started shooting. Roger was paying attention. Before he could get off a shot, Roger grabbed the driver, in the right front seat of the Mustang and pulled him over to the steering wheel, making him sort of a shield. This fellow got off two or three shots, but by then Roger had pulled out own pistol and started to return fire. This caused the perp to flee into the woods. Roger pursued on foot to the fence, dropping another round or two at the fleeing felon.
Trooper Beaver re-loaded as he returned to his unit to “call it in”. By the time he returned the other fellow had left and ran into the woods.
We had a man hunt for the next several hours in and around Eufaula, but we finally found them both. The last one was found in a dumpster. I heard a Eufaula PD officer, who was a Viet Nam veteran, tell the now captured perp, “You SOB, I should have killed your momma when I had the chance.” Yes, I know politically incorrect today, but kinda funny at the time.
Back to Trooper Beaver. When I arrived on the scene Roger was still with his unit. We sat in mine and talked for a long time. I asked him if he would like some time off. He said that a couple of days might not be bad. I told him to take all the time he needed. I think he took two days, and got right back on that horse.
Before he went 10-8, I told him to stop the first violation he could find, tail light, fail to signal anything, write them a warning and send them on their way. Again, get right back up on that horse. That is the very reason I admire Roger Beaver as much as any Trooper that ever worked for me. Did then, do now! That is why I think of him when I think of courage, or in the case of that 6’2″ deputy from Florida, lack of courage or being afraid. Roger was scared, afraid anyone would be, but the little guy did not think about it, he did what he needed to do, reacted properly and lived to retire. I have always been very proud of him.