More than 200 motorcycles lined the USF Sun Dome parking lot Saturday as bikers gathered to honor a fallen police sergeant.
University Police (UP) and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) officers, as well as members of the community, rode in the third annual “Ride for Ron,” in memory of HCSO Sgt. Ron Harrison.
While on duty in August 2007, Harrison was fatally shot after working a DUI checkpoint in Brandon.
UP Sgt. Tom Bobrowski organized the motorcycle ride to honor Harrison, his friend and colleague.
Cash donations from the event were given to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), an organization Harrison was passionate about, Bobrowski said.
A total of $2,800 in donations was collected, said Linda Unfried, the community action site leader for the Hillsborough County chapter of MADD.
“I feel like it was all a dream. It was amazing to see how many people came out,” she said. “Everyone worked so hard for this event, and people just kept coming and coming.”
Unfried, who helped Bobrowski organize the event, said she worked with Harrison at the DUI checkpoint the night he died.
“A drunk driver shot him right after the checkpoint was finished. It was awful … everybody was there, it was eerie,” she said.
Bobrowski invited the USF Bull Bikers Association (BBA), a student motorcyclist organization, to participate in the event.
“We organize the ride every year, and I want USF to be involved,” he said.
It was the first time BBA participated, Bobrowski said.
Chad Myers, a senior majoring in science education and a BBA member, was among the motorcyclists at the event.
“Anytime an officer goes down it affects you emotionally,” Myers said. “I lived just a couple miles from where the incident occurred … it’s a major loss to the community.”
The ride ended at O’Brien’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Brandon, the southwest corner of the intersection where Harrison was killed.