07/07/2003

Fla. Sheriff's Deputy Killed When Man in Speeding Car Hits Him

Officer Down: Deputy Charles Sease - [Flagler County, Florida]

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. -- A Flagler County sheriff's deputy was killed Saturday when he was hit by a car driven by a man fleeing officers on a highway.

Deputy Charles Sease, 35, was placing spikes on an Interstate 95 exit ramp shortly before 3 a.m. to deflate the tires of Bruce Grove's car when he was killed, sheriff's spokeswoman Debra Johnson said.

"This is the first officer killed in the line of duty in over 70 years for our department," she said.

Grove, 28, of Daytona Beach, was fleeing deputies after an undisclosed disturbance at a bar, Johnson said. He was traveling at 90-95 mph when he hit Sease, killing him instantly, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Leeper said.

Grove's car went out of control and rolled over in a ditch in Palm Coast about 30 miles northwest of Daytona Beach. Grove was brought to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach in fair condition and was expected to be released within a few days, Leeper said.

A trooper is on guard duty outside Grove's hospital room, Leeper said.

"We're going to book him for felony murder, DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, aggravated fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer," Leeper told The Daytona Beach News-Journal for its Sunday editions.

Grove's driver's license had been revoked for frequent traffic violations, Leeper said.

Sease, a newlywed, had been a deputy in Flagler County for two months following five years as a police officer in Waterbury, Conn., Johnson said.

Sease's former colleagues in Waterbury struggled to get through the day on Saturday.

"It's real tough," Waterbury Police Sgt. David Knapp said.

Knapp remembers Sease joining the force as a rookie. Sease earned several commendations at Waterbury, he said.

"If anything was going to happen you wanted Charles Sease there. He could handle any situation," Knapp said. "He was well-respected. You had the utmost trust in him."

Posted by Charles Rahn (Retired)
Orlando Police Department
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