Services for Hillsborough County Deputy Sheriff John R. Kotfila Jr. have concluded. His unit number 4258 has been called with finality and is declared 10-7. He will be returning home to Massachusetts now. Deputy Kotfila a true hero will not be remembered for his final act of heroism that ended his life, but rather for the way he lived his life. In the fashion of giving, caring and trying to be a great law enforcement officer.
He was called “Keebler’ a in the small elf by his fellow co-workers because of his small stature. However his deeds were that of a giant everyday he lived.
His passing occurred on March 12, when a motorist was traveling the wrong way traveling down the Leroy Selmon Expressway.
Deputy Kotfila saw the vehicle of Sarah Geren who was traveling properly endangered by another vehicle that would have struck her head on. In a moment he raced past her vehicle to act as a human shield with his vehicle to prevent her head on collision thus saving her life.
“I started to pull over to the side of the road, but that hadn’t even occurred all the way when the officer rushed around me… one or two seconds after he passed me, he hit the car, instead of me,” said Geren. She also stated “This man put himself in front of us as a human shield. Absolutely. He definitely saw what was going on. When I take a step back and look at the way everything occurred, he absolutely was a human shield for us,”
Deputy Kotfila’s services were attended by hundreds and honor guards ending with a helicopter fly over in a missing man formation.
Members of his department posted a video Remembering him
A brief video explains the accident, his life and services.
Godspeed Deputy Kotfila. We have the watch.