Fallen Officer Madsen remembered for rescuing HCSO deputy paralyzed during Tampa riot

Local News

TAMPA (WFLA) — Fallen Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen continues to be remembered by the community and fellow law enforcement officers, this time by a Hillsborough County deputy who said Madsen rescued him during a riot at University Mall last year.

During the riot at the University Mall in May of 2020, Hillsborough County Master Deputy William Scobie was hit in the head with a piece of concrete, which left him temporarily paralyzed. Madsen and another officer with TPD rushed to Scobie’s aid, carried him to the car and took him to the hospital.

“While I was there, they began to throw rocks, bricks, fireworks at us,” Scobie said. “They lit a tree on fire and threw it at us. At one point, they began to rush our line of deputies and loot a store.”

Scobie said he took a large piece of concrete to the side of his neck after getting hit in the face with a beer bottle.

“There’s was no way they were going to get an ambulance to me, and there was no way a marked patrol car was going to be able to get out of that crowd,” Scobie said. “Because they were surrounding all the cars, they were smashing them with bricks and rocks.”

Scobie said Madsen laid him in the back seat of an unmarked patrol car, and stayed with him in the backseat on their way to the hospital. Scobie said Madsen kept him awake, making him laugh and keeping him company the whole ride there.

Four days after the incident, Scobie said he was back to work at another protest downtown. While there, he got a phone call from dispatch saying a TPD officer wanted his phone number. It was Madsen.

The two reconnected and Scobie said they talked for hours, reflecting on their experience in law enforcement and their time in the military.

Scobie said they’ve kept in touch since then. When he heard of Madsen’s death, Scobie said he felt profound sadness.

“The first thing I did was I called the other TPD officer and confirmed it was him,” Scobie said. “It’s sad. I can’t really put a word on it. Profoundly sad.”

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