BRADENTON — Master Patrol Officer Jose Santos has been named Officer of the Month for August by the Bradenton Police Department.
Santos was nominated by Lt. John Affolter for an incident at 6:30 p.m. June 23 in the area of the 1300 block of 27th Street East when he observed a red vehicle driving erratically by an elderly male.
The vehicle stopped at an intersection giving Santos the impression the driver was lost. As Santos moved closer he saw another subject in the passenger seat. The driver turned onto Ninth Avenue East and turned abruptly into a residential driveway.
Santos stopped behind the vehicle and approached as the passenger exited the vehicle and began to quickly walk away while dropping numerous items as he walked into a residence.
The driver told Santos the passenger took his checkbook and cellular phone and hid a firearm under the seat. As Santos called for backup, he saw the suspect running out of the residence, enter a crowd of people and disappear.
The driver, who was uninjured, said was buying a car from Craigslist and when he arrived at the seller’s address, the suspect entered his car, produced a firearm and demanded money. He forced the victim to drive around until they encountered Santos.
“Santos may have very well prevented this crime of robbery from ending in tragedy, according to Chief of Police Michael Radzilowski.
BPD continues to look for the suspect.