Three State Troopers injured in pursuit

KSP troopers injured

Three Kentucky State Troopers were injured in a pursuit in Harlan County on Friday, including one who was pinned between a guardrail and the pursuit pickup truck, according to KSP.  Troopers and bystanders worked together to free Trooper Kenny Abner from being trapped by the pursuit vehicle. KSP Sergeant Jay Perkins was injured trying to free Trooper Abner, according to State Police.  Trooper Abner was taken by ambulance to Harlan ARH by ambulance.  Sergeant Perkins and Trooper Andy Soltess, who was hit by the pursuit vehicle, were taken to Harlan ARH by car, according to investigators.  All three Troopers sustained non-life threatening injuries, according to State Police.  Investigators say it all began around 2:48 p.m. when State Police received a call from Harlan ARH Psychiatric Center stating that a woman had walked off from their facility wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans.  While Troopers were looking for the woman, another call came in at 2:53 p.m. from Cumberland Valley Engineering, reporting a white Chevrolet pickup truck had been stolen from behind their business by a woman matching the description of the woman Troopers were looking for.  Trooper Jared Boggs, Trooper Kenny Abner and Trooper Andy Soltess spotted the pickup on US 421 and tried to pull it over, according to KSP.  Investigators say the woman driving the pickup refused to stop and led Troopers on a low-speed pursuit for approximately 8-miles, according to State Police.  The pursuit ended on Black Bottom Road in the Loyall community of Harlan County, according to investigators.  As Troopers were trying to negotiate with the pickup truck’s driver, 30-year old Rhonda Johnson, of Loyall, hit the driver’s side of Trooper Boggs’ vehicle, according to investigators.  The pickup then dropped off the road, pinning Trooper Abner between the guardrail and the truck.  Trooper Soltess was also hit by the pickup, according to State Police.  Once Johnson was taken into custody, she was returned to Harlan ARH, according to KSP.  She is charged with three counts of attempted murder (Police Officer), theft of a motor vehicle, two counts of criminal mischief 1st degree, fleeing and evading police 1st degree (motor vehicle), and operating on a suspended license, according to investigators.  She was eventually lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center, according to State Police.



Florida Highway Patrol trooper critically injured in Miami-Dade crash

FHP Trooper Rosario critically injured

A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper was critically injured on Friday while performing speed enforcement duties in Miami-Dade county.  Trooper Carlos Rosario, 40, was watching for speeders along with two other troopers at 9:30 a.m. when the driver of a 2014 Chevrolet HHR SUV lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons and struck Rosario and two parked patrol cars.  Rosario was outside of his vehicle at the time of the accident.  Trooper Rosario received severe injuries and was flown by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to Jackson Ryder Trauma Center. He is in critical condition.  The driver and passenger of the SUV received minor injuries and were cleared at the scene by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.  An investigation into the crash is pending.




Georgia state trooper finds 3 abandoned puppies and then adopts them

GSP Puppies

A Georgia State Patrol trooper took three canine vagrants into custody — and then he and a few of his colleagues adopted the abandoned puppies as their own.  The Georgia Department of Public Safety posted on its Facebook page Tuesday that trooper Jordan Ennis found three puppies while patrolling a southwest Atlanta subdivision on Monday.  He was driving in the abandoned subdivision known as a dumping site for stolen cars when he spotted the puppies in a briar patch.  The agency says Ennis and his police dog, Tek, brought the puppies into headquarters.  They were promptly adopted by Ennis and three members of the headquarters staff.  The agency says Ennis suspected no one was coming for the puppies, prompting the adoption.  The puppies are a mix of unknown breeds.



National Guard, State Police and PennDOT escort infant in need of heart surgery

PSP baby escort

A 23-month-old boy in need of emergency heart surgery was driven 88 miles by ambulance through Tuesday’s snowstorm to Geisinger Medical Center.  Plow trucks, state police vehicles and the Pennsylvania National Guard led the way in an emergency escort across Interstate 80.  There’s no word yet on the boy’s condition.  “At approximately 9:30 a.m. today Lehigh Valley Health Network Pocono made a request to the PennDOT Monroe County Maintenance office for a plow truck escort for an ambulance to transport a 23-month-old child from their facility in Stroudsburg to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville for an emergency heart surgery,” said Sean Brown, press officer, PennDOT District 5.  The convoy left LVHN Pocono at approximately 10:15 a.m., according to Brown.  Two plow trucks led the ambulance, joined by a state police sport utility vehicle and two National Guard Humvees.  Cpl. Adam Reed, communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police, said the convoy reached Geisinger’s Danville campus about 2:40 p.m.  Roads were snowy and slick as Tuesday's storm dumped snow nearing 20 inches in parts of Eastern and Central Pennsylvania.  Officials didn’t say how fast the vehicles were able to travel or if any stops had to be made along the way.  “They got there safely and as conditions permitted, which was the most important thing,” Reed said.  “We don't have any updates right now on this story, as patient privacy is a priority,” said Joseph Stender, Geisinger communications officer.  Gov. Tom Wolf spoke about the escort during a live address about the snowstorm Tuesday afternoon.  “The child went to the hospital in East Stroudsburg.  It was determined he needed a transplant and had to go back to Danville to Geisinger to get it,” Wolf said.  “PennDOT led the way with a plow train.  State police went with the group to make sure they were safe.  The National Guard followed to make sure if anything happened they could help.  Local emergency responders and medical practitioners made sure the baby was safe while they made the trip,” Wolf said.  “We’ve done what we can at the commonwealth and we wish the best of luck to doctors at Geisinger for their life-saving work,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richard during the press conference.



The Missouri State Senate unanimously approved Lt. Col. Sandy Karsten as Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent

Sandy Karsten Missouris new superintendent

The Missouri Senate last week unanimously approved Lt. Col. Sandy Karsten as Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent, making her the first woman to hold the position since the patrol’s inception 81 years ago.  Karsten, who was nominated by Gov. Eric Greitens, was sitting in the gallery as the vote took place, surrounded by her “brothers and sisters” from the patrol.  She received praise from both sides of the aisle  “She is in this position because everything she has worked for and her ability, and nothing to do with the fact that she is a man or a woman,” said Sen. Gina Walsh, the Democratic minority leader.  “She is the most qualified individual for this position, and I’m honored she will be leading our Highway Patrol shortly.”  In an interview with the Globe after the vote, Karsten, eyes welled with unshed tears, said she was overwhelmed with pride and honor.  Karsten started as a state trooper and worked up to the second-ranking position.  Ever since Col. Bret Johnson retired Feb. 1, Karsten has been the acting superintendent.  “I bring a different approach to the office,” Karsten said.  “I bring the perspective of being a mother, wife and sister.With the state’s budget crisis, Karsten said she will take a deeper look at the patrol’s more than 1,000 officers to make sure they are positioned in the right spot to produce the most effective results.  “It’s time to go to work,” Karsten said.  Maj. Kemp Shoun was one of the “brothers” in attendance and joked he had known Karsten “since she was a mere child.”  They were in the same academy class in 1985, and he worked for her as a captain in human resources.  “If you worked around her, you saw this coming years ago,” Shoun said, adding that Karsten’s “talent has always been evident.”  Shoun described Karsten as a “high interaction person” who leads by example and wants the goals and standards she sets to be followed.  “It would have been easy for her to ask someone else to figure out the hard parts,” Shoun said.  “But she would always be part of the problem-solving.  She would get down into the weeds with you and learn what’s involved.”  Shoun said Karsten’s ascendance was “history-making“.  There is no more glass ceiling here,” he said.