Deputy Dean Bardes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Dean Bardes

Deputy Dean Bardes (Facebook)

An armed civilian in Estero, Florida is being credited with potentially saving Sheriff Deputy Dean Bardes’ life on Monday after the officer was seen being assaulted. The civilian took matters into his own hands when he saw the officer needed help.

The suspect who was beating Bardes led police on a high-speed chase along southbound I-75 before the altercation erupted. Witnesses said they believe the man was going at least 120 miles per hour.

Authorities say the armed citizen shot the suspect to death after the suspect refused to surrender. The shooter, who wasn’t named yet at the time of this article, held a valid Concealed Weapons License, according to police.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. A Witness Saw the Suspect Tackle Bardes to the Ground

The deadly confrontation began when Deputy First Class Dean Bardes, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, was at the scene of an accident and witnessed the suspect driving recklessly.

Bardes pursued the driver for several miles before the suspect got out of his car and attacked the deputy, Blue Lives Matter reported.

“I watched the suspect jump out of his car and run toward the officer and tackled him,” a woman who said she was a witness said, according to Leo Affairs.

Nicole Donna commented on a Facebook post after the suspect drove past her:

The suspect drove right past me on 75, he was cruising the shoulder lane doing at least 120. Traffic was heavy and slow moving. He mistakenly flew by a deputy who then chased him for a good 3 exits. I knew this wasn’t going to end well. Praying the deputy is ok.

2. The Suspect Was Reportedly Killed by the Armed Bystander During the Struggle

Rick Maestas, a witness who spoke with WINK News, said he saw a high speed pursuit on the left shoulder of I-75. He told the station that he then saw a man on top of a police officer before hearing three gunshots. The suspect then fell over to the side and then Bardes was able to get up.

Blue Lives Matter reported that the concealed carrier “exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy.” When the suspect refused, the passerby shot the man three times.

The suspect died from injuries sustained in the shooting. A witness shot a video that appeared to show emergency personnel trying to revive the man:

The suspect was armed, Bardes told his supervisors, according to sources.

3. Bardes Is Expected to Make a Full Recovery

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that Bardes is expected to be okay.

Although Bardes was heard crying for help, he was not shot, sources told Blue Lives Matter. He was treated at Lee Memorial Hospital and then released.

Bardes was seen exiting the hospital in bandages and shaking hands with and hugging other deputies as he left, WINK News reporter Britni McDonald said:

It is not clear if Bardes ever discharged his firearm.

4. The Concealed Carrier Is Being Hailed as a Hero on Social Media

The armed citizen in the case is being hailed as a hero online, and the public is crediting conceal carry laws for cases like this which otherwise may not have ended as well. Many are also referencing the turn of events as an example of how officers should be treated by the public.

“When a good guy with a gun saves the day two words rise above all other rhetoric – ‘Thank You!'”, Doug Linda Jones posted to Facebook. “Enough said.”

“If the rest of the country would follow suit, we’d be in a much better place,” J Scott Bennett wrote. “Get your ccw. Use it when needed. Help the police instead of fighting them.”

“It could have ended completely different without an outstanding citizen with a CCW,” Jacqueline Goldstein stated. “Thank you sir for stepping in and helping an officer in trouble.”

5. Research Shows Concealed Carry Laws Help to Reduce Crime



According to Gun Owners of America, states which have passed concealed carry laws have seen several reductions in crime. The company’s website reads:

States which passed concealed carry laws reduced their murder rate by 8.5%, rapes by 5%, aggravated assaults by 7% and robbery by 3%; and If those states not having concealed carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, then approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and over 11,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.

The site also said an innocent citizen in Florida “is far more likely to be attacked by an alligator than to be assaulted by a concealed carry holder.”

Heavy reached out to Gun Owners of America. Larry Pratt talked about a proposed bill in regards to concealed carry, and said stories like this can only help their stance. He stated:

This story illustrates the importance of conceal carry. And hopefully will contribute to the passage of a bill, especially now since we have a republican president who’s probably likely to sign it…a bill that has been in the works for a few years sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Basically it would say that if you have a conceal carry permit in your state of residence, then it would have to be recognized the same way in other states as a driver’s license. It’s relying on that section of the constitution that requires states to recognize the acts of other states.

*This story is being updated as information becomes available.




Mr. PRATT, et al.,

Any federal statute (law) for nationwide “concealed carry” must be clarified to require that notwithstanding any State, county or local law to the contrary, ANY concealed carry license or permit issued by any State agency or political subdivision (i.e,. by a county government or sheriff or city police chief) SHALL be deemed valid across state lines, except when the person carrying concealed is a prohibited person under federal law (i.e., a convicted felon, under indictment or a fugitive for a pending FELONY–not a mere infraction or misdemeanor offense).

Concealed carry (and open carry) locations should be governed by the firearm laws of the traveling state, NOT the CCW licensee’s issuing state; PROVIDED THAT no State, county or local government may enact or enforce any law banning the concealed carry of any lawful HANDGUN which was lawfully obtained and owned by the licensee or permit holder in his or her home state, including so-called high capacity magazines and hollow-point ammunition therefor.

The open carrying of all legal long-guns should be subject to the visiting State’s laws (including Fish & Game laws), but consistent with the federal Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.

This is necessary so CCW licensees from one State cannot be arrested and prosecuted while possessing and carrying different model HANDGUNS in interstate commerce that an anti-gun State may now or later ban from importation by its own residents, such as California’s approved list or roster of handguns.

One or more of the bills now pending in Congress state that any “restrictions” on the CCW licensee in his home state shall also apply to carrying in the traveling state. This is UNWORKABLE because it would require other state and local governments to also know the gun laws and carry policies of 49 other issuing States and/or thousands of local sheriffs/police chiefs in addition to their own gun laws. It is also unworkable because some (California) sheriffs have arbitrarily added silly restrictions that their CCW licenses are not valid in OTHER States (beyond their jurisdiction), even though “validity” should be governed by the new federal law for nationwide “concealed carry” PROVIDED THAT the CCW license or permit is not revoked or expired.

Also, any nationwide “concealed carry” RECOGNITION statute might be challenged in federal courts by one or more anti-gun states under the Tenth Amendment, so it is ESSENTIAL that Congress state and include the “constitutional basis and authority” for such nationwide “concealed carry” statute in the underlying House and Senate bills, including, but not limited to, (1) the Second Amendment, (2) the 14th Amendment Privileges and Immunities Clause, (3) the Full Faith and Credit Clause, (4) the Interstate Commerce Clause, and (5) the “constitutional right to travel from state to state” under the Ninth Amendment (if that “right” resides there or elsewhere in the U.S. Constitution or federal case law).

Recall that “Obamacare” was initially challenged by several States in federal courts claiming that is was “unconstitutional” under the Commerce Clause and other legal arguments; but the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld “Obamacare” under the TAXING Clause of the United States Constitution to the stunning surprise of the litigating parties and media.

Please advise your counterparts at NRA, et al. to get on board and immediately amend any proposed nationwide “concealed carry” House and Senate bills to clarify the carry parameters, supra, and to withstand any potential legal challenges by anti-gun states such as California and New York to name a few.


P.S. Please note the legal difference between CCW “reciprocity” policies and CCW “recognition” laws. The former are generally written voluntary agreements (contracts) between one or more State governments, whereas “recognition” laws are governed by written state laws stating that a State accepts ALL other State licenses or permits. Thus, nationwide “concealed carry” would be a federal “recognition” statute (NOT a contract) enacted by Congress under the authority of the United States Constitution, supra.

P.P.S. It is not fair to “unfortunate residents” living in anti-gun states and/or anti-gun local jurisdictions (i.e., Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C. and NYC) that refuse to issue concealed carry licenses/permits to “ordinary citizens” to carry in their home state, while other states would be required to honor other state licenses under a nationwide “concealed carry” RECOGNITION statute (new federal law).

Also, IF the new federal law and/or someone’s home state requires them to first have a license issued from their home state, the “unfortunate residents” could not carry in their home state and anywhere in the United States. The only way to remedy this problem is to have the new federal law require that ANY “concealed carry” license or permit issued by ANY state or local government is valid anywhere in the United States (the 50 States and other federal territories and possessions). This will circumvent any anti-gun states and anti-gun local governments whom refuse to issue “concealed carry” licenses or permits to their own residents as well as non-residents. This is necessary since numerous states currently only honor their own licenses OR only honor so-called “resident” licenses issued by other states.

Please advise your counterparts at NRA, et al. to act accordingly.


ALL lives matter. The armed civilian who stopped to assist a LEO the other day definitely proved that.
Thank you to that civilian who stopped to assist an officer who’s life was surely threatened. You saved my cousin & family from a possible unwarranted tragedy. You didn’t have to stop or care, but you did. Thank you!
Dean and all law enforcement officers literally put their lives “one the line” to protect and serve. Until it hits as close to home as it has, it isn’t comprehendible to some. Everyday our officers go to work, though we as civilians don’t give it a second thought, it’s never guaranteed that they’ll walk back through that door after a shift. Thank you to ALL the men & women who protect and serve.

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