S. Fla. Law Enforcement Attend Memorial For Slain St. Petersburg Officers

MIAMI (CBS4)- Thousands attended the memorial service for the two slain officers in St. Petersburg Friday, including members of South Florida’s police.

The ceremony was held at the First Baptist Church in St. Petersburg at 11 a.m. A joint funeral service was held for Sergeant Thomas J. Baitinger, 48, and K-9 Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz, 39, who were killed in Monday’s shooting.

The officers were killed by Hydra Lacy Jr., while they were interviewing a relative of Lacy at a home. During the interview with Lacy’s relative, they learned that Lacy was hiding in the attic of the home. The officers were shot while attempting to get Lacy from the attic.

Lacy had a long criminal history. Lacy was wanted on an arrest warrant for Failure to Appear on a charge of Aggravated Battery that was issued on November 2010. His criminal history also included Aggravated Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer, Sexual Assault and Kidnapping. He was also a registered sexual offender.

Officers Baitinger and Yaslowitz were the 5th and 6th officers to die in the state in the last seven months. Baitinger is survived by his wife, Paige, while Yaslowitz is survived by his wife, Lorraine, and their three children, two boys – 5 and 12 years of age, and a girl, 8 years of age.

Florida law enforcement members came together following the shooting deaths of officers in both Miami-Dade and St. Petersburg. On Friday morning members of South Florida’s police drove to Florida’s west coast for the memorial of the slain officers in St. Petersburg. They hope to provide any type of support they can.

The officers left South Florida for St. Petersburg before 5 a.m. in a caravan of about 40 police units. They are making a four-hour drive and are scheduled to arrive just shortly before the funeral.

As South Florida police officers are reliving events that occurred to them just a week ago, they are not the only ones who are reaching out to the St. Petersburg community.

The family of slain officer Amanda Haworth reached out to the St. Petersburg families.

“We feel so sorry and we want them to know that the police officers have taken care of us and they’ll take care of them,” Haworth’s father Bob Haworth said.

Haworth’s life partner Rosie Diaz offered her condolences.

“There are no words to express how we feel for them since we are still going through our own pain,” Diaz said.

She said she gets her strength from the Haworth family.

Video: S. Fla. Officers Attend Memorial For Slain St. Petersburg Officers

Detectives Roger Castillo and Haworth were shot to death last week while serving an arrest warrant on 22-year-old Johnny Simms. He was also shot and killed.

Haworth’s former partner Jeri Mitchell said she wants to help the families in St. Petersburg cope.

“We truly know the pain they’re going through,” she said. “We’re living the same pain a couple days later than they have.”

Haworth’s 13-year-old son Austin is still too distraught to talk about his mother, but he said he knows what the families on Florida’s west coast are feeling, and so does his half brother Jordan Mitchell.

“We know their pain,” he said. “And there’s not much you can do to get rid of it.”

Diaz said there’s a reason police officers took their oath and it’s to protect the community.

“As hard as this is for us each day that we wake up and we go to bed at night we will, everyday of our lives, from here on in, make sure that these kids know that the community is good and that they need our protection, and that that is the reason that we took the oath that we took,” she said.

(CBS4’s Cristina Puig contributed to this report)

  • bruce rowan

    Who is paying for all of these officers to attend this funeral and the cost of fuel and wear and tear on the vehicles? I would be willing to bet its the taxpayers of Miami.
    Also, why do they have to have these funerals on the weekday instead of the weekend? They shut down major expressways for the procession for hours at a time with no regard for people who need to get to appointments or home from work, wasting thousands of gallons of fuel and productivity. These measures do not build goodwill, they build resentment and disgust because of this abuse of power. I am not against them having a proper funeral with all the respect and ceremony that these officers deserve. However, shutting down the entire county just to make a point is being disrespectful to everyone caught up in this mess and puts a real strain on business and everyone else involved. This is not Mayberry.

    • Luis Bonilla

      GREAT POINT. Our troops die everyday defending this country and nobody shuts down the palmetto or brickell to honor them. This is just a cover up for the unexplainable shootings in Liberty City and the abuse of power by cops. All those cops probably participated to milk overtime. I have no respect for them becuase i always see them either hidining in a secluded area killing time or drinking colada’s at La Carreta.

      • Tony Pitts

        You’re making this comment killing time somewhere yourself, Luis. Judging by your comment, you’re a far left wing semi-communist/borderling anarchist. But, a cowardly one at that. Society will never adopt your vision, Luis. Sip on your own little coffee and stay on the sideline in this Revolution because that’s where you belong. There’s guys like you and Bruce and then there’s Che. I hate Che, but Che picked up a rifle and fought for his vision. You and Bruce, like the cowards you are, sit back and type about it. People’s blood is shed to give the right to talk smack. Too bad you can’t do anything more creative with the liberty your afforded. What men to sit and cry about traffic and cops drinking coffee. Thank God I wasn’t born that soft. And the men and women of our police forces and military weren’t born that soft. For all the horrors these gold toothed, dreadlocked monsters perform daily, will you blog about such? Better yet, will you walk into Liberty City or Overtown and confront them. Face to Face? Of course not. Stay on the sideline boys. You’re both born casualties. Cowardly casualties. Maybe you’ll get lucky and a half dozen people will be there to bury you when it’s all said and done. Maybe you’ll be born again strong in another life. Because you sure are soft, gentlemen. I mean, Boys.

    • john Smith

      Wow!! Everyone is entitled to an opinion but I am very disappointed and shocked with yours bruce rowan. The officers attending these funerals are on their own time (so no productivity was lost). These people risk their lives every day so that people like you can travel to your ‘all important’ appointments safely! We need to recognize and appreciate the men and women who risk (and give up) their lives daily so that you can walk out your front door without getting mugged. Police officers deal with the scum of society so that you don’t have to. I’m curious as to what your opinion is regarding the pieces of crap that killed these officers. This scum has cost the cities thousands of taxpayer dollars in court time, jail time and manpower. If you want to get mad, why not get mad about that?!

  • john Smith

    Really people??!!!!! How many taxpayer dollars do you think that these killers cost you in court time, jail time and manpower. Why don’t you get mad about that?

  • Luis Bonilla


    You must be a law enforcement officer or a goverment employee. Let me inform you that there is not one inch in my body that is soft. By the way i am not a semi-communist, i am a proud Republican. I am just fed up with the abuse of power from goverment and count employees. Everything they do is half-assed and they portray themselves as if they are doing us a favor and we owe them the world.

  • Tony Pitts


    You’re lying to yourself. Your mind is completely absorbed with mass media, mass hysteria, and popular opinion. There is abuse of power, but a coffee break and funeral is not a legit gripe. You bounce a ball, you get a house on Star Island. You rush to save a life or protect the innocent, you get a coffee break and a hero’s funeral. No big deal. Where are you in the scheme of things, Luis? Run for office if you can do something better for society. Join the front line and see what it’s like to walk in those shoes. You’re being abused by popular culture and you have no mind of your own, my friend. You’re a proud Republican and probably Cuban. God bless you. You speak up here, where you can. Where you have the right to do so. Would you dare speak that way in Cuba? Would Cuba be a different place today if you had the guts to speak there as you speak here? You cannot speak there. So you speak here. You’re angered by what you call abuses here, but would not dare stand out and refuse to sit through a 9 hour speech by The Beard. People are forced out of their homes for those functions. At least there were side streets on Monday. How about a slice of humble pie? This entire metro area should have grieved with the police. People died grieving for Kim Il Sung. A man who oppressed a whole nation. You people are angry because your guardians drink coffee and get an extended memorial service. The world isn’t about you, my friend. You are not contributing to the greater good. Do something great, Luis. Unleash your mind from the control the media has on it. Don’t be a tool.

  • Luis Bonilla

    MR. PITTS,

    I am not cuban my friend, I despise the cuban mafia that is involved within the Miami politics and controls Miami. I cant wait for the fall of Castro so that the cuban community goes back to Cuba and take their dirty politics were it belongs. in regards to the coffee break everyone deserves one. I dont think that a person should be paid mandatory overtime of at least 4 hrs just becuase you went over your time by 15 minutes filling out paperwork is having no consideration. Driving on the emergency lane while everyone is stuck in traffic during rush hour also qualifies for no consideration. Yes, they do provide protection but they are COMPENSATED for it.

  • Amanda M

    Response to Luis Bonilla & Bruce Rowan

    What do you mean, ” Yes, thay do provide protection but they are COMPENSATED for it.” Really…are you that damn stupid…so 40K to 50K is compensation for a bullet or a life!

    It’s a calling, a duty and an honor.

    As far as the traffic, some inconvenience and missed doctors appt, you had a two day notice of the events to take place this day. You also had an option to change those appts or find altenate routes … get over your self and show some respect for these men and women that put themselves in harms way to protect your ass and mine too!

    Who do you call for an emergency? … oh let me think…911!

    Move on and pray that they’ll be there when you’ll need them, not taking a coffee break in your hour of need.

  • Leo

    It is such Honor to have people like Tony and Amanda! Wish there were more people like you two! Funny though how only the ignorant trash talk those who they eventually DEPEND and COUNT on when in need… and they’re the first ones dialing 911! Hahahaha… pure ignorance and what makes it even worse is that he doesn’t even know he’s ignorant… what a sad case…

  • Bruce

    If we were only talking missed doctors appointments then I don’t believe there would be a real problem with this procession. There are businesses that are desperately trying to hold on in the worst business environment since the great depression. Delaying shipments and impeding the flow of goods and services is just another nail in the coffin for many businesses here in this region. We already have some of the worst unemployment in the country and our roadways are also some of the most congested in the country. Finding another route is also not practical as all the surface roads become mired in gridlock and there is no other alternative unless you have access to a helicopter. And as was pointed out, what about out fallen heroes in the military? Why are we not having these large processions when these soldiers are killed defending our country? Are they not also deserving of the same respect? They are defending our freedom and liberty also.

  • Amanda M.

    By the way..who is paying for this? DUH…any tax payer that’s who!

    At least I saw where my taxes just went on Monday and on Friday…try finding out where the rest has gone or will be going…Good Luck in your search!

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