Walk spanning 3 counties to honor fallen officers

Ashley Inge ainge@empiretribune.com
Ty Patterson

The Somervell County Sheriff’s Office is orchestrating a walk to honor fallen officers from across the area.

The walk, set to take place beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 27, was originally planned in May 2018 to honor fallen Game Warden Teyran “Ty” Patterson.

In May 2007, 28-year-old Patterson and his partner, 25-year veteran Game Warden Danny Tuggle, were attempting to recover the body of a suspected drowning victim, 16-year-old Courtney Butler of Stephenville, where the river crosses FM 205 in Somervell County.

Butler had gone missing the day before during an outing with friends.

Patterson drowned after his boat capsized in floodwaters. Tuggle suffered near-drowning injuries and was transported to Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital where he was treated and released.

The teen was pulled from the river days later after an exhaustive search effort.

Last year, several people, including Somervell County Sheriff’s Office employees and fellow game wardens, made a 13.1-mile walk from the Hood County line, through Somervell County and ending at the Bosque County line.

This year, Somervell County Sheriff Alan West is reaching out to the sheriff's offices in Hood and Johnson counties to join the walk.

Hood County has lost three officers in the line of duty: Jailer James Truitt in 1886, Deputy Larry Miller in 1992 and Sgt. Lance McLean in 2013.

Johnson County has lost two officers in the line of duty: Deputy George Robinson Jr. in 1971 and Deputy Clifton Taylor in 2011.

"[The walk] is just as an honor to him (Patterson) and his coworkers and people that worked that day and time with him and let alone, the family,” West said.

The route is a little bit longer this year at 15.4 miles and will start at the Hood County line, walking through Somervell County and ending at the Johnson County line.

The walk is planned to start at North FM 56 and end on E. Highway 67. The Somervell County LEC, located at 750 E. Gibbs Blvd., will serve as a designated rest area.

“For us it’s just a memorial for the fallen officers that we’ve had here in our county [and] for our guys to get out and exercise and to give back to our community,” he said.