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Eerie Reminder of Deadly Hank Earl Carr Rampage – Handcuff Keys Found on Suspect

RIDGE MANOR – Many of you, especially those in law enforcement remember May 19th 1998; the day that two Tampa Detectives and a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper were killed by murder suspect Hank Earl Carr.

After shooting his 4-year-old step son, Carr was taken into custody by Tampa Police Detectives Rick Childers, 46, and Randy Bell, 44. While en route to headquarters for questioning, Carr pulled a concealed handcuff key from a chain around his neck and used it to free himself. Carr took the opportunity to grab Childers’ side arm and shot both detectives dead.

Carr escaped the patrol car, forced a man from his vehicle and then fled north on I-75. When he reached the exit to State Road 54 in Pasco County, Trooper James Crooks, pulled in behind him. Carr exited his truck armed with a rifle and shot Trooper Crooks point blank. Crooks was just 23-years-old.

The pursuit ended at the Shell Gas Station on State Road 50 (Since Demolished), where Carr took several hostages. Carr eventually took his own life, before a SWAT team made entry.

On Sunday, an eerie reminder of that infamous day put Troopers and Sheriff’s Deputies on edge, when they attempted to stop a stolen vehicle in the same area, where the Hank Earl Carr incident came to an end.

According to officials, Deputies were called to assist the FHP with a traffic stop involving a stolen vehicle in the area of Sherman Hills Blvd. Upon arrival, Deputies located the vehicle abandoned in the McDonald’s parking lot. Employees told deputies that a man and a woman exited the vehicle and fled north onto Windmere Road. Both suspects were eventually located hiding in a nearby subdivision and taken into custody.

The male suspect, Identified as 21-year-old Brandon Lee Burtyk, told deputies during a search “I have a surprise in my wallet.” When deputies looked inside, they discovered not one but two handcuff keys.

Both Burtyk and his girlfriend 19-year-old Brianna Michelle Martin were transported to the Hernando County Jail. Martin is charged with one count of Loitering and remains behind bars on a $1,000 bond. Burtyk is charged with Grand Theft Auto, Loitering, and two counts of Carrying a Concealed Handcuff Key. Burtyk remains behind bars on a 16,000 bond.

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  • I believe no one should say a Damn thing on here unless they know the family themselves.I was there at that house when all the shit went down that day.i remb it all.boo was a asshole.he abused her and them kids and acted like a bad ass all the time like no one can touch him.everyone was suppose to be scared of him.Yeah she deserved some time but 18 years is messed up.I hope the best for you Bernice and pray u can rekindle your relationship with your daughter.

    Tuesday, 14 February 2017, 10:24 pm
  • I really wish there were thumb up and thumb down for these comments.

    Thursday, 28 July 2016, 3:08 pm
  • Is Bernice Bowen still at Homestead C.I.? Or did she make parole?

    Tuesday, 26 July 2016, 10:18 pm
    • She was released in October 2016 and was reportedly going to live with her parents in Ohio who also raised her daughter.

      Saturday, 3 December 2016, 9:35 am
      • Thank you Kathy.

        Saturday, 3 December 2016, 6:19 pm
  • She did her time. Let her out! It was a horrific tragedy, but maybe the cops should have been a bit more cautious. I remember seeing video of the older cops casually talking with Carr and laughing etc. Cuffed him in the front? The wives of the fallen officers slamming Bowen as if she was the killer. Needing someone to blame, I get it, but Bowen was nothing but a fool. She should have done 5 years or so. I know this seems harsh and I do apologize for that, but I do not think Bowen should also be a victim of Carr. Oh and let’s not forget the rookie that lost his life that day. That was senseless bs, the whole thing was.

    Sunday, 10 April 2016, 5:05 am
    • Theresa, I very much agree! It was such a sad ordeal but it was not Bernice’s fault the officers cuffed that degenerate in front. Yet she got the blame.

      Sunday, 4 December 2016, 12:52 pm
  • Im sorry, who is Brandon??

    Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 3:36 pm
  • Melisa, the handcuffs that Brandon had were stolen from a former chief of police in Ohio who recently died of cancer. He was living with my family and watched porn that ruined our internet and possibly stole pain meds from us. He is a pill popper and is very aggressive.

    Tuesday, 30 June 2015, 8:06 pm
    • my boyfriend admited he had the keys before serched. leave him alone! he was born adicted the drugs his mother took. vicki brigner. timmy is a homo pedofile after his nephew. the family new brandons problems before taken him in.

      Friday, 10 July 2015, 5:45 pm
  • Max, Bernice Bowen was an accessory to 3 murders. She got what she deserved.

    Saturday, 6 June 2015, 9:59 am
    • There was never any evidence given or any reason to believe Bernice Bowen had any idea the events that took place would happen. The record showed Carr abused Bowen and she was terrified of him. Believing the shooting of her son was an accident would also cause her to believe Carr could well be back in her home. She would have been too afraid of what he might do to her later if she did anything against him.

      Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 2:19 am
      • AMEN.
        Travesty of justice.
        Should have been an embarrassment to all.
        Make me ashamed of our system.

        Wednesday, 27 July 2016, 1:28 am
      • Vernon, I agree!

        Saturday, 3 December 2016, 7:47 pm
  • YOU NEVER HAND CUFF NO ONE IN THE FRONT OF THEM
    { BAD CALL}

    Friday, 5 June 2015, 5:34 am
    • Jimmy, you are correct! Unbelievable that he was handcuffed in front! I know many in law enforcement, my cousin is a lieutenant in Las Vegas. Not one that I know would handcuff in front! No matter what!

      Saturday, 3 December 2016, 6:30 pm
      • Correct and TPD protocol was that they be handcuffed in back.

        Sunday, 4 December 2016, 11:25 am
  • I believe they hand cuffed him in front because he & the woman lied about who he was. When they checked the name given, nothing came back giving them reason, at that time, to think he was a danger to them. Sadly that was far from the truth.

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 8:45 pm
    • Yes, I believe the same thing, this idiot Max has other opinions

      Friday, 5 June 2015, 5:21 pm
      • Tragic situation for sure, but I’d be careful about arguing someone who didn’t betray a friend during the crisis of losing a child and eliminating someone else close to them is just as guilty as someone intentionally killing three people. It’ ridiculous on its face. Might also cause some to consider who actually is the idiot.
        The woman apparently was required by law because they weren’t officially married to inform, but most people have enough character not to easily give up a friend. She couldn’t possibly know what was about to happen. I agree throwing the book at her was an over the top act of revenge because they couldn’t get at Carr.

        Saturday, 6 June 2015, 11:03 am
        • I’ve wasted enough time and energy on this. The fact still remains, she lied to the police about who he was. The officers thought they were just going to transport this poor guy that just shot his girlfriends son “accidentally” so he’s not a threat. If she would have told them his real name, they would have accessed the whole situation differently and he would have been secured. I can’t help what you guys think as well as you can’t change my mind. She deserves to stay in prison longer and that’s how I feel.
          If it were your family member that got killed, I wonder if you would feel different.

          Saturday, 6 June 2015, 7:02 pm
          • We studied this case in sociology class in college. The reason we studied it was because the legal system did take it out on the girlfriend in an obvious act of revenge when they couldn’t do anything more to the killer. Probably pressure coming from the community.
            The sentence was even twice as much as the most severe of the guidelines.
            We studied it because it was a travesty of justice and an example of what social pressure could do that could cause public officials to bow to public pressure.

            Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 2:08 am
  • It was such a tragic day…I’ll not ever forget it. So much loss of innocent life. I do have to say that those were two seasoned detectives who knew protocol and knew you never EVER handcuff anyone in front. Everyone says if Bernice had told them who Carr was none of it would have happened, and where that is true, had the bad man been restrained according to protocol it wouldn’t have happened either. That last mistake was that of the detectives who unfortunately paid the ultimate price. Tampa PD was angry and had to lay blame and since Carr was dead they threw the book at Joeys mother…the woman who just watched her son get shot.

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 6:24 pm
    • And she tried to protect the scum bucket who just killed her son. You think she deserves a pass for this ? She knew his real name and what he was capable of ! Things would have had a different outcome if she would have said who he really was.

      Friday, 5 June 2015, 11:55 am
    • Exactly.
      The worse thing that can happen to a person is to lose their child.
      Then to top it off the state blatantly jumps on that poor, grieving mother with both feet in an obvious act of disgusting revenge, someone who didn’t have enough means to properly defend herself.
      It was disgraceful.

      Saturday, 6 June 2015, 3:05 am
    • JFA: IF she had just seen her child get shot, which HEC did, why would she defend him? She did not “watched” her son get shot. She heard the gunshot and opened the door to see him laying in a pool of blood. These two “seasoned detectives” also had sympathy for a supposedly father who had actually just seen his “son” shot…….Supposedly by “accident”. Your opinion, in my opinion, is so far fetched it is unfathomable. You need to get your facts straight and maybe reaccess your thoughts. Your opinion states the exact opposite of what actually happened. Also, up until the HEC tragedy, officers were NOT REQUIRED to handcuff in the back. The officers did not know what they were dealing with.

      Saturday, 3 December 2016, 9:32 am
      • Kathy, a little slow on the uptake huh? No one said THEY WERE REQUIRED TO handcuff in front. This was a civil conversation between normal people. Ok, you said Berniece was now going to live wither parents, wrong, she was sent to prison. Go back to your Cracker Barrel. Run along now, we were playing nice prior to you commenting. Can we get you a safety pin?

        Saturday, 3 December 2016, 1:30 pm
        • She WAS in prison, 21 years. She is NOW LIVING WITH HER PARENTS.
          Why do you need a safety pin? Why are you running down another when you’re the one who doesn’t know the facts? You have no right to make a rude comment telling someone to “Go back to your Cracker Barrel”. It not only makes you sound pathetic and shows you to be rude and clueless, it also lets everyone know what a despicable person you are to have to resort to such nonsense, that you haven’t the intelligence to debate maturely.

          Saturday, 3 December 2016, 11:57 pm
          • Umm, Sly, she works at Cracker Barrel. The comment about the safety pin was in regard to her opinion about my opinion. There is no need to denegrade someone else just because you do not agree. That is what Kathy did.

            Sunday, 4 December 2016, 11:38 am
          • Speaking of FACTS, she was only in jail for a little over 18 1/2 years, not 21.

            Sunday, 4 December 2016, 11:58 am
  • Why is it only good cops get murdered?

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 2:51 pm
  • That was the deal when they couldn’t take it out on him as he was dead the legal system took it out on his girlfriend instead.
    Looked like a terrible miscarriage of justice to me.

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 2:36 pm
    • She was just as guilty as Carr !! She knew his real name and didn’t tell the cops or they would have taken precautions and hand cuffed him properly and probably would have found that hand cuff key with an extra good pat down. There is no excuse !! She was protecting a scumbag that just killed her son. She should rot !!

      Thursday, 4 June 2015, 4:12 pm
      • Now you are being foolish.
        Carr was guilty of intentionally killing three people.
        She didn’t intentionally kill anyone.
        She didn’t even intentionally harm anyone.
        The consequences of what would happen because of her actions were unknown to her. Carr was taken away in handcuffs. She could reasonably assume he was contained. She could also reasonably assume things might work out and she would be dealing with him again as a part of her life. To say she is as guilty as him for not turning on someone close to her is not being realistic.
        What she did was not rat out someone she had more loyalty toward than to the system in spite of the fact he had also unintentionally killed her son.
        Would you rat out your mate, your man, your best friend, if you knew a tragic event had been a terrible accident?
        That poor woman in a short period of time lost her man and her child to violent death. Think about it. Her child.
        And as if she hadn’t suffered enough, the system, because they felt unfulfilled over the death of Carr, jumped on that poor defenseless woman and punished her as if she had been the one to intentionally commit a horrific, heinous act.
        And, no one with enough where with all to help stepped up to help.
        It was a despicable, heinous act by our judicial system to do what they did to her.

        Friday, 5 June 2015, 4:51 pm
        • I believe you are the foolish one ! Do you even have kids ? Because if my husband shot my son and killed him, you bet your butt I would turn him in. All she had to do was tell the truth. They didn’t go after her because they couldn’t get Carr. They went after her because she lied to the cops and because of that lie, they had no idea how dangerous this animal was. It would be the same as robbing a store and say the owner has a heart attack and dies. You were the cause of that death. Had it not been for the robbery, said victim would still be alive. So, therefore, you will be held responsible. I do not feel one bit sorry for her. She’s a criminal ….Not a defenseless woman. Those 3 officers that were shot and killed by Carr were innocent victims, not her !

          Friday, 5 June 2015, 5:20 pm
          • You would turn your husband in if you believed it to be an accident?
            You are just saying that.
            The fact remains, the woman had no evil intent. She wasn’t trying to do anyone any harm.
            Robbing a store takes evil intent.
            She only had a desire to not bring more harm into an already terrible situation involving the people in her life.
            She couldn’t predict the future. He was taken away handcuffed. Under their control.
            There was no rational reason for her to assume something like that could happen.
            She didn’t have as much evil intent as people who make cars who KNOW those cars will be the cause of some people’s death – and make them anyway. They KNOW something bad will happen with some of them.
            She couldn’t know.
            She was a poor woman without the means to afford a proper defense and the legal system in their frustration took it out on her. They used her to try to get even.
            She needed a proper defense and she couldn’t afford it and didn’t get it.

            Saturday, 6 June 2015, 2:53 am
        • Max, you are sooo wrong Sir. She was told during interrogation that he had already killed the two cops! She continued to stick with her concocted story of his name being “Joseph Bennett”, in lieu of his real name Hank Earl Carr. The female detective “begged” her to tell her the truth and she continually lied. The HCSO FLEW her via chopper to the Shell gas station to talk to him to get him to give himself up. Thank God, Bernice asked/begged Hank to release his captor and he did. Only a “criminally” minded person can sit through an interrogation, be told your mate has killed two people and continue to LIE to the interrogator about his real identification. The SAD outcome here is that Bernice now gets to live with her parents who raised her daughter! NO parent should have to take their child back in after loosing their grandchild and raising another grandchild due to their deadly spawn.

          Saturday, 3 December 2016, 9:16 am
          • Being told by the police anything in an interrogation does not mean one is being told the truth. Police don’t have to tell the truth to get what they want.
            ” Only a “criminally” minded person can sit through an interrogation, be told your mate has killed two people and continue to LIE to the interrogator about his real identification. ” is simply not true. Only, what you apparently wantneed to believe.
            Police will tell you it is often extremely difficult to get someone to roll over on a loved one. Or, someone a person is truly terrified might be able to get at them later. It takes awhile, sometime a long time, for that kind of fear to go away, even after one is safe.
            Her unwillingness to give him up in that situation is ONLY evidence of how scared she was of him.
            Wake up.
            Her child had just been killed by his hand and she was still too scared to tell.

            Saturday, 3 December 2016, 3:19 pm
          • Being told something in an interrogation by the police is not the always same thing as being told the truth. The police are not required to tell the truth to get what they want.
            ” Only a “criminally” minded person can sit through an interrogation, be told your mate has killed two people and continue to LIE to the interrogator about his real identification.” is simply not true. Only what you apparently want/need to believe.
            Police will tell you it is often extremely difficult to get someone to roll over on a loved one. Even with good people. And, when they are terribly scared of someone and fearful they might later have to face them. That fear doesn’t go away quickly. Sometimes takes a long time, even after one is safe.
            That she refused to turn on him in that situation is ONLY evidence of how scared of him she was.
            Wake up.
            Her child had been just killed by his hand and she was still too scared to tell.

            Saturday, 3 December 2016, 3:30 pm
    • @Max, I very much agree! Bernice was a victim too. It’s nice that so many don’t have a clue to what it’s like to be so badly abused/traumatized you don’t know what way to turn because no matter what you’re gonna be in the wrong.

      Saturday, 3 December 2016, 6:10 pm
    • Max, I very much agree! That girl (Bernice) never had much of a chance in life. So many blaming her, runner-up Nguyen her down… thankfully they have never had to go through, live the kind of life she was, by no fault of her own, born into. If they had they would NEVER be so quick to damn her.
      Bless it be the powers there are that they haven’t a clue.

      Saturday, 3 December 2016, 6:24 pm
  • I heard a story a long time ago that said Hank Carr was handcuffed in the front and that he just reached over the seat and grabbed the officer’s gun. When you look at all the video footage you never see Hank Carr handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Seems kind of hard to believe that a man could have his hands behind his back, get a handcuff key , unlock the cuffs with two officers in the front seat not see him shifting around in the back seat. Unfortunate that we lost 3 brave men that day. GOD BLESS OUR PROTECTORS.

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 10:12 am
  • The service station is still there actually. Sad day for us all. Remember like it was yesterday. I drive by it everyday to go to work. Try not to think about that day but it is hard.

    Wednesday, 3 June 2015, 9:29 am
  • Tom, you’re right about people’s views on police officers. And it’s a shame. They should be thanked every day for everything they do. They are what stand between us and criminals like these.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 7:49 pm
  • I remember the Hank Earl Car day very well, he almost crashed into my semi after he killed the state trooper north of 54. I had exited on 50 when the police were gathering to block off the roadway. I think I was the last truck to exit before they got set up. That was definitely a wild day…..to say the least. I thanked God then for allowing me to not be one of his victims, and I thank God now for allowing a peaceful ending to this situation.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 2:27 pm
  • The “mother” of the 4 yr old little boy KNEW who Carr was and she
    KNEW he was a wanted Felon! The low life woman could have
    prevented the shooting of her little boy and the deaths of all three
    LEO if she had told police the TRUTH about Carr in the first
    place!!!! Such a horrific tragedy that day! 🙁 I even remember
    that Shell station.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 2:00 pm
    • I remember:
      Bernice Bowen AKA Angel. In 1999 she was sentenced to 21 yrs.
      I never had any sympathy for her, she knew.
      She will be released next year 10/2016 – subject to change + gain time.
      I counted 9 helicopters in the sky that afternoon.
      The “BOOM” shook the ground.

      Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 6:51 pm
      • Mabel, Id like more info on that day regarding the helicopters. Would you reach out to me?

        [email protected]

        Sunday, 10 April 2016, 5:09 pm
  • I remember that day. I lived right in ridge manor.
    While I appreciate the importance of this story. I mean where do these people even get handcuff keys. I also appreciate the work you do reporting these stories. However I think linking these idiots with that tragedy is a bit of sensationalism.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 1:33 pm
      • Thank you Tom for reminding people who have forgotten. My son is a police officer and I worry with every shift he works, but he loves helping people and this is what he chose to do. Because of people like you, we keep our law enforcement in a good light the way it should be. Thank you again

        Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 4:54 pm
      • Melissa sounds like a jackass, you are correct. I’m tired of hearing negativity to the officers who put their lives in danger to protect us every day.

        I actually knew Hank, he was our next door neighbor in Englewood fl when I was a kid. Him & my dad would fish together. It was a huge shock to hear what he had done. We were aware of his criminal record but that it was taken so far was overwhelming to say the least. You can never really know anyone, that is a very scary truth.

        Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 4:14 am
  • It is so unfortunate that because of our judicial system these two will be back on the streets only to give them the opportunity to harm or possibly kill an innocent civilian or even a Law Enforcement Officer. Our system sadly needs an overhaul. But for now they are behind bars. Good job FHP & HCSO.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 1:23 pm
  • I was right there during the whole thing at the Amaco station. .

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 12:52 pm
  • That was a horrible day. We lost 3 men who were loved by their families and community. I will never forget that day. fortunately this situation ended better.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 12:50 pm
  • Useless already at a young age , keep them!

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 12:50 pm
  • I remember that all too well…such a very sad and heartbreaking thing to happen.

    Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 12:36 pm

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