Archive for October, 2011

“It’s like a guardian angel is gone” – Pastor Beetel of New Beginnings of Tampa remembers fallen Tampa Police Corporal Mike Roberts

“We can’t say enough good and thank enough about TPD. Literally, they’ve come to our rescue,”


Tampa, Florida – Pastor Beetel doesn’t mince words.

He’s a reformed gang leader who became a man of God, he says.  He’s the kind of man who tells it like it is. It’s when he talks about prayer and life that his voice softens and eyes well with tears.

“It’s like a guardian angel is gone. Every morning they get up, kiss their family goodbye, put on their bullet proof vest and they don’t know if they’re coming home,” says Pastor Beetel, referring to fallen Tampa Police Corporal Mike Roberts

Roberts’ death is a day that changed Pastor Beetel’s neighborhood, in the Sulphur Springs area of Tampa. The pastor runs the New Beginnings of Tampa emergency shelter on Nebraska and East Arctic, just feet away from where, he says, they lost a man they considered one of their own - a friend and protector.

“We can’t say enough good and thank enough about TPD. Literally, they’ve come to our rescue,” the pastor said.

Roberts knew that something wasn’t quite right with the man pushing a grocery cart down Nebraska Avenue one night in August 2009.

Roberts decided to stop. After all, the 11-year veteran knew the dangers of the streets and always took precautions.

His call sign: Lincoln 61. Cpl. Roberts told the dispatcher that he was stopping. It would be the last words he would ever say.

The radio transmission sounded out with Cpl. Roberts’ voice, strong and certain, “Lincoln 61, signal 80 at Nebraska and Arctic.” He had no way of knowing he would lose his life that night.

The man behind the shopping cart, Humberto Delgado, Jr., police say, pulled the trigger. Dispatch can be heard calling out to their fellow officer after a scuffle heard on radio traffic.

Sadly, Corporal Roberts would never answer. What is left behind is the loneliest transmission, silent and slow.

A dispatcher can be heard calling  out, “Lincoln 61, 10-34?  Lincoln 61, 10-34?” 10-34 is the call signal for, “Are you OK?”

Former Mayor Pam Iorio, who was leading the city of Tampa at the time of Roberts’ death, told 10 News, “Mike Roberts was the kind of person who lit up a room, so when he came in the room he kind of took it over by virtue of personality.”

Iorio provided details of the tragic shooting in her new book, saying it was, be far, the most difficult part of her administration.

Mike Roberts was a friend, a son, a father and a husband who leaves behind a wife, Cindy, and a little boy Adam. He was a man just trying to make a difference in Tampa on August 19, 2009.

Jury selection for his accused killer began Monday at the Hillsborough County Courthouse.

Humberto Delgado Jr. is charged with first degree murder.  The trial could last up to three weeks. The judge in the case ended jury selection for the day around 4:00 p.m. and is expected to start again at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

A jury pool of 150 was brought in for the first day.

Original story done by Melanie Michael at Tampa Bay 10 News


TPD Cpl. Mike Roberts

Find out more about TPD Cpl. Mike Roberts

Find out more about Pastor Beetel

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