NEW PORT RICHEY — A Pasco deputy shot during a burglary in Lacoochee and the corporal who assisted him were awarded medals of valor Thursday by the Sheriff's Office.
Deputy Jeffrey Chandler was the backup unit on a burglar alarm call at a convenience store Aug. 7. As he walked around Sam's Quick Mart, a burglar fired a spray of bullets from inside the store. One hit Chandler in the chest but was stopped by a metal business card holder in his shirt pocket. Cpl. Ted Johnson, dragged Chandler into a ditch for safety as the gunfire continued. Neither was injured.
Two teens were later arrested and charged with attempted murder and armed burglary.
Sheriff Bob White also gave a meritorious service award to James Prack, a property crimes detective who helped craft a county ordinance banning the burning of rubber off copper wire, in an effort to stem the rise in copper wire theft in Pasco.
Others receiving awards were a trio of 911 call-takers who helped talk down a suicidal man, a deputy who stayed one step ahead of a burglar and another 911 operator who took an unverified call but took extra steps to research an address, where deputies found and rescued someone who had been tied up.
New employees were sworn in, including 10 deputies.
Molly Moorhead can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6245.