FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Major Tony Casto with the Indiana State Police spoke to WANE 15 about the man Master Trooper James R. Bailey was. Bailey died March 3 after he was hit by a car while he was putting down stop sticks on I-69.
His goal was to stop a car that Terry D. Sands II was driving. Sands was being chased by Fort Wayne police officers and heading toward DeKalb County.
The words Major Casto used most to describe Master Trooper James Bailey were ‘humbleness and quiet tenacity.’
Casto described how when unexpected weather would strike and extra hands were needed, Bailey could always be counted on.
“He would say, ‘Hey I’m available, cancel my days off, schedule me for days, nights, post command, out on the road wherever you need me, I’ll be there,'” Casto said. “He never missed a storm, never missed a critical event.”
Casto spoke at lengths about how Bailey “was always there.”
Whether it was the aforementioned severe weather calls or simply to encourage fellow officers.
“He would hear the call and be up on the radio saying that he was en route to back up his fellow officers no matter where they were or where he was,” Casto said.
Casto shared the story of a trooper who would get coffee with Bailey every week.
“He was putting his uniform on and realized James wasn’t going to be at the gas station,” Casto said “He said, ‘I can’t do it, I’m not going to work today.'”
While being dedicated to his officers, Casto also noted that the same commitment and dedication extended to Bailey’s family.
“His affection for his family was a tremendous example and reminder to all of us that we had to be grateful for all the things we had,” Casto said.