FOP honors Good Samaritan
by Mike Sharkey
It’s not every day a group of police officers recognizes a citizen as a hero, but that’s exactly what happened at Wednesday’s Fraternal Order of Police luncheon.
Lawton Walker received a standing ovation from a room filled with members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, several judges and elected officials and many others in the law enforcement field for his actions Feb. 22.
Walker was at a McDonald’s on Baymeadows Road and witnessed a murder. As opposed to just calling the police and waiting around, Walker chose to pursue the perpetrator. Along the way he severely damaged his truck, but played a major role in helping JSO catch the suspect.
“He’s my hero,” said FOP President Nelson Cuba, who recognized the soft-spoken Walker and presented him with a check for $500. “He is shy, but he was not shy that day.
“He rammed the suspect’s car and that is why we are here to-day.”
In addition to the FOP thanking Walker with the check, two local businesses also got involved. Keith Pierson Toyota donated the parts to repair Walker’s truck and Auto Crafters performed the work for free.
Walker said being a hero was never taken into consideration.
“It was instinctive,” he said. “We should try to help one another out and not allow things like this if possible.”
Walker called being at the FOP “heartwarming” and said it was good to see people care so much.
The victim was shot and killed during a robbery attempt.
“Those kids will never see their dad and that is horrible,” said Walker. “I was just trying to do the right thing.”