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Distinguished Officers of the Month - October 2011
Detectives Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo
The Miami-Dade Police Department is honored to bestow the departmental Gold Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Award, and the recognition of Distinguished Officer of the Month for October 2011, to Detectives Amanda Haworth and Roger Castillo, who passed away on January 20, 2011, while serving their community. Detective Haworth had been a member of this Department since October 1988 and Detective Castillo since November 1989, and were assigned to the Warrants Bureau's Career Criminal Squad (CCS).
In January 2011, Detectives Oscar Plasencia, Castillo, and Haworth were assigned to the CCS whose main function is to investigate, locate, and arrest habitual violent offenders. Under Florida State Statutes, these criminals are convicted felons, and known to be the worst of the worst. By virtue of their violent histories and willingness to steal from or harm innocent victims, these criminals present the greatest threat to the public and local communities.
On Thursday, January 20, 2011, at 10:45 a.m., Detectives Plasencia, Haworth, and Castillo, all police veterans with at least 20 years of experience, went to serve a warrant on an armed and dangerous felon. The subject was wanted for shooting and killing a man in October 2010, and was facing charges of first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The subject had been previously arrested by the team for violation of parole for armed robbery, and as a result, had served time in prison. At the time of the October murder, the subject had been released just one month earlier.
That morning, the squad had stopped at various locations looking for the subject. The last location on the list was the apartment of the subject's mother. Upon arriving at the residence and making contact with the subject's mother, she proceeded to let the detectives enter the residence. As the detectives made entry, the subject, armed with a semi-automatic pistol, confronted the detectives and immediately began to fire at them. Detective Castillo was shot and killed instantly while Detective Haworth was shot and critically injured. The subject then fired at Detective Plasencia, who shot back and killed him. Detective Haworth was transported to the hospital, where she later died.
That day, in a span of 17 seconds, two of the Department's finest ended their watch doing what they swore to do: protect and serve the community. Five children, ages 10-15, lost parents due to the senseless and violent act of a career criminal. The actions of Detective Plasencia assured those children, as well as the citizens of Miami-Dade County, that this criminal would never harm another human being again.
The results of this tragic event are a grim reminder of the dangers police officers face; and even though we share grief over the loss of Detectives Haworth and Castillo, we gather strength from the knowledge that their sacrifice will not be forgotten. Detectives Haworth and Castillo will truly be missed and will forever be remembered as officers who left behind a legacy of courage, honor, integrity, and pride.
Sandra G. Kramer
Media Relations Bureau
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