Wildwood pays tribute to fallen officer nearly 70 years after killed in line of duty

Benjamin Carroll

Wildwood has paid tribute to a fallen officer nearly 70 years after he was killed in the line of duty. The city also honored a constable shot and killed by a doctor.

Police officer Benjamin Carroll was killed in 1947 and town constable John Owens died in 1908.

Carroll, 38, was on the job for just six months when he was fatally stabbed by a suspect on Dec. 29, 1947.

The stabbing occurred south of Huey Street near old route 44A as Carroll was attempting to make an arrest. Despite being wounded, Carroll managed to shoot and kill the suspect.

Carroll was survived by a wife, daughter and two step-children.

Owens, 56, was shot and killed on Sept. 6, 1908, by a doctor.

Owens was trying to arrest the doctor over a dispute involving his dog. The doctor was arrested but never tried for murder.

Owens had served as town constable for three years after working as a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy. He was survived by his wife and two children.

The effort to recognize Carroll and Owens as fallen heroes was spearheaded by former Wildwood police chief Eddie Reeser, who presented a shadow box, an enclosed glass-covered display case, honoring the officers to the Wildwood City Commission.

Reeser said Carroll and Owens will be honored both nationally and in Florida.