On November 14th, Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy Dean Bardes was reportedly pulled from his patrol car and attacked by suspect, 53-year-old Edward Strother.
After assisting two Highway Patrol troopers with a vehicle crash, Bardes noted a speeding, grey Toyota Camry, the driver—Strother. Bardes attempted to stop the car, however Strother stopped in the roadway and pointed a gun at the deputy; then continued south on I-75.
Strother finally stopped his vehicle on an off-ramp where he reportedly jumped “over the driver’s door of Bardes’ patrol car, landing” on top of the deputy and began punching Bardes violently.
Bardes pleaded with a passer-by, Ashad Russell, who drew his concealed carry weapon, commanding Strother to stop his assault and release the deputy, after finding Strother on top of Bardes in the middle of the road.
After numerous commands from both Russell and Bardes, Strother began trying to remove the deputy’s weapon from its holster. Stroher continued the assault and both Bardes and Russell gave more commands to desist. Protecting his gun from the assailant and fearing for his own life, Bardes called to Russell: “Please shoot him.”
In fear for Bardes’ life, Russell fired three rounds into Strother, finally freeing Bardes.
Strother later died at the hospital—the third shot to the neck was presumed to be the fatal shot. Russell was not charged in Strother’s death because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, according to the state attorney’s office.
Deputy Bardes only suffered minor wounds and shortly after the assault, returned to duty.
At the time of the shooting, Strother had a warrant out for his arrest for his absence of a November 8th pretrial hearing for a case in which Strother allegedly assaulted a hospital security guard. The state attorney’s office also stated that Strother’s neighbors had noticed he had been acting “bizarre and impaired” and “yelling and singing.” According to his family, Strother had suffered mental breaks and severe depression.
Friends, this is hero saved another hero. I applaud him. Now, one thing I want to remind all of you, however, is to keep up to date on your states’ laws. Florida has a “Stand Your Ground” law, you should know whether or not your state has one or not, otherwise you might face charges (even in defense of another). Ask your lawyer. Be educated and stay armed, my friends.
When was the last time your local police were aided by a heroic by-stander? Drop your stories in the comments!