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Fla. deputy suffers fatal heart attack on duty

By Lyda Longa
The Daytona Beach News

DAYTONA BEACH — Veteran lawman Richard Atkins, a sheriff's deputy at Daytona Beach International Airport, died early this morning after suffering a heart attack just two hours before his shift was to end at the facility.

The 65-year-old Atkins, who has been a policeman for more than three decades, was monitoring surveillance cameras at the law enforcement office in the airport when he suffered the attack, said Volusia County sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson. Another deputy found Atkins slumped over in a chair in the office at about 4 a.m.

EVAC paramedics arrived at the scene minutes later and attempted to resuscitate Atkins to no avail. He was taken to Halifax Medical Center where he died at about 4:58, Davidson said.

Atkins' son Richard Jr. is a police officer with Daytona Beach police. The elder Atkins retired from Daytona Beach after 30 years of service. He joined the Sheriff's Office in 2002.

Copyright 2008 Daytona Beach News

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