St. Pete Police Review Board upholds officers' use of firearms in Hydra Lacy shootout

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Here is the memorandum issued by St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon regarding theHydra Lacy shooting. It has beenexcerpted for length:

TO: All Personnel
FROM: Charles ?huck?Harmon
Chief of Police
DATE: April 14, 2011
SUBJECT: Shooting Review Board for Sergeant Karl Lounge, Detective David Gerardo,Officers Bradley Bryan, Ruben DeJesus, Matthew Hansell, Donald Herring, Patrick McGovern, Allan McTavish, Ronald Try, and Douglas Weaver

On January 24, 2011, at approximately 7:15 a.m., officers responded to assist a St. Petersburg Police Detective and a Deputy U.S. Marshal with the apprehension of Hydra Lacy for a felony warrant at 3734 – 28th Avenue South. A search of the residence was conducted and investigators learned Lacy may be hiding in the attic. K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz searched and located Lacy hiding in the attic of the residence. During the arrest attempt, K-9 Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz was shot and killed, and a Deputy U.S. Marshal was shot and injured. The Deputy U.S. Marshal fell from the attic opening; however, Officer Yaslowitz remained injured
inside the attic.

An officer rescue team was formed, and during the rescue attempt of Officer Yaslowitz, Sergeant Thomas Baitinger was shot and killed. Also during this rescue attempt, Sergeant Karl Lounge and Officer Douglas Weaver discharged their AR-15 rifles at Lacy. Sergeant Baitinger, the Deputy U.S. Marshal, and a St. Petersburg Police Officer were rescued from the residence. The Tactical Apprehension & Control (TAC) Team was called to rescue Officer Yaslowitz and
apprehend Lacy. Two rescue attempts were made, and Officer Yaslowitz was rescued from the attic during the second attempt. During the rescue attempts, Detective David Gerardo and Officers Ruben DeJesus, Donald Herring, Patrick McGovern, Ronald Try, Matthew Hansell, Douglas Weaver, and Bradley Bryan discharged their firearms. Officer Allan McTavish was on a rooftop north of the residence and discharged his AR-15 rifle while the TAC Team was pulling
Officer Yaslowitz out of the residence. Hydra Lacy was located in the residence, deceased, from multiple gunshot wounds.

On February 24, 2011, the State Attorney’s Office sent a letter to Chief Charles Chuck Harmon notifying him that the death of Hydra Lacy was deemed justifiable homicide by the officers involved.

At the conclusion of the Boards, the Board members took an opportunity to commend all those who came before the Board today for their bravery and heroic actions. The Board also would like to acknowledge many other Department members who did not fire their weapons but demonstrated the same bravery and heroic actions by risking their own personal safety in rescuing one of their own. The Board members agreed that we all should be very proud to wear the uniform of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.