Marvin L. Thomas, 84, of Panacea died on December 23, 2011 in Tallahassee.
It is with great sorrow that we could not establish due process at the FWC before this veteran passed away. Rest in Peace Marvin.
This incident occurred on October 16th, 2000.
Mr. Marvin Thomas, is a proud U.S. Citizen. During WWII, the military subjected to him to radiation during the first test of an atomic bomb as an “observer” or “test subject.” The exposure to radiation left him with severe health issues and unable to have children. He also suffers from asbestos poisoning, and has to use an inhaler, due to his service to our country.
On October 16th, 2000, Mr. Thomas was legally fishing in Dickerson Bay, off of Panacea, Florida. At 11:45, FWC Officer Sarvis instructed FWC Pilot Stout to approach Mr. Thomas in their helicopter. In front of several witnesses watching from the shoreline, the helicopter hovered for quite a while at a distance of less than 20′ over Mr. Thomas’s head. The helicopter left after several minutes of hovering, and an hour later, returned to the area. This time the helicopter hovered close to the treetops over FFF President Crum’s house, frightening his wife. The helicopter was so close to the tree tops that it blew off the pinecones from the trees. (The Crums own a two story stilt home by the gulf.) The helicopter then proceeded to once again hover over Mr. Thomas, this time at a distance of approximately 8 feet. The grasses around Mr. Thomas’s boat were flattened by the rotor wash. The FWC Officers decided to used their loudspeaker while hovering 8′ over Mr. Thomas’s head. The feedback ruptured Mr. Thomas’s eardrums and he dropped to the deck in excruciating pain. Despite Mr. Thomas waving his arms and obviously pleading for the helicopter to leave him alone, the officer continued to hover and use their loudspeaker for several minutes. By the time the helicopter left, dozens of citizens, including a sheriff had witnessed the atrocity.
FWC investigator Troelstrup was assigned to investigate the case. The Officers claimed that they never came within 300 feet at a 45 degree angle from Mr. Thomas, but dozens of witnesses offered to take a polygraph to prove otherwise. Troelstrup informed Mr. Crum and other witnesses that his life was threatened if he continued the investigation, and soon dropped the investigation. Three top FWC officials mysteriously announced their “retirement” soon after the death threat incident. Despite the FWC paying off Mr. Thomas with 60,000 to dispose of the case, the two FWC Officers that were in the helicopter remained employed. The investigation was never truly completed.
Mr. Thomas now uses hearing aids and has permanent hearing loss that doctors claim will continue to get worse with time. He also has an inner ear problem as a result of the helicopter attack and occasionally loses his balance. … And this is how the FWC treats many citizens under their watch. No American deserves this kind of treatment, especially veterans that fought for our country’s freedom. Shame, shame, shame.
Webmaster’s note: We are honored that Mr. Thomas is a member of Fishing For Freedom. We salute and honor ALL veterans that served our country.