Thanksgiving Accident Cop Is Employed By Tiger

As part of a lengthy investigative piece on the Windermere Police Department that initially responded to the Tiger Woods Thanksgiving car accident, Henry Pierson Curtis and Susan Jacobson of the ORLANDO SENTINEL report that two members of that force were under the employ of Woods as family bodyguards when the golfer’s accident took place.

Tiger Woods Car Accident Cop Was Employed By Woods At The Time

One of those officers, Timothy N. Cash, was the second member of law enforcement to respond to the accident, leaving his own beat to “reach the crash scene first.

The Sentinel notes of that same Windermere Police Dept.:

Several current and former officers have a history of legal troubles: drug abuse, domestic violence, lying and assault, according to court and police records reviewed in six counties by the Orlando Sentinel.

The Orlando print outlet also reports that, “two of those officers are bodyguards whom Woods trusted with the safety of his wife, Elin Nordegren, and their two children.


Part-time Officer Timothy N. Cash, who regularly guards Woods’ family. He resigned from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office while facing termination for two incidents, including getting drunk and dragging an ex-girlfriend by her hair out of Rachel’s, an adult-entertainment club in south Orlando, records show.

Cash, who operates a private security business, accompanied Nordegren on a January outing in Windermere, photos show. According to published photographs and video, he also guarded the children at a SeaWorld Orlando show and accompanied Nordegren in Miami in April.

Windermere policy prohibits its full-time police officers from working off-duty security details and “all other jobs that require law enforcement expertise,” but Saylor said he does not have the authority to curtail Cash’s work because he’s a part-time employee.

Part-time Officer John C. Hein is the other member of the Woods security detail. Hein claimed on his police application to be a former member of U.S. Special Forces, but military records contradict him.

“According to academic records … Mr. Hein attended Special Forces training in 1984 and despite several attempts was not selected to earn the Green Beret,” wrote Maj. Dave Butler, a spokesman for the center at Fort Bragg, N.C., in an e-mail.

Since the accident Cash, who again was the second Windermere officer to arrive at the Woods car accident scene, has continued to guard the golfer’s family:

Cash, who operates a private security business, accompanied Nordegren on a January outing in Windermere, photos show. According to published photographs and video, he also guarded the children at a SeaWorld Orlando show and accompanied Nordegren in Miami in April.

The Sentinel cites a litany of criminal activity and past poor judgement by current Windermere officers, including Police Chief Daniel Saylor:

Three weeks before Saylor resigned from Melbourne in May 1996, records show, Orlando police stopped him for what an officer said was picking up a prostitute on North Parramore Avenue. He was not arrested.

After passing a sobriety test, Saylor, then 29, first claimed he thought the woman was a hitchhiker. He then admitted he picked her up to have sex, an incident report states.

Orlando police did not investigate but turned the case over to Melbourne.

Saylor resigned May 23, 1996, records show. Five days later, Melbourne police concluded their investigation of Saylor by ruling there was not enough evidence to find that he solicited a prostitute but faulted him for engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer, FDLE records show.

In the aftermath of the Windermere Police Dept. investigation of the Woods accident, the Sentinel reports:

Early that morning, two Windermere officers (included Woods employee Cash) left their own beat to reach the crash scene first. A day later, the department later broke protocol by revealing details of what happened. International attention followed, plus the ire of law-enforcement officials for undermining the crash investigation.

“Furthermore, it should be noted that the City of Windermere, Florida has no jurisdiction in this investigation,” an Orange County sheriff’s advisory stated. “Information provided by the City of Windermere may, in fact, be counterproductive to the ongoing investigation into this incident.”

Since the Thanksgiving car accident, there’s been much conjecture as to how Woods was not strongly suspected by responding officers of being under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol at the time of the crash. Wife Elin provided two pill bottles, containing Ambien and Vicodin, to law enforcement at the scene.

A witness at the accident scene told the Florida Highway Patrol that Woods was drinking the night of the accident. Hours later though, FHP officers were denied a request to administer Woods a blood test.

Many have also wondered why there was essentially no followup investigation into what the Windermere Police suspected was a “domestic issue between Woods and wife Elin. After the accident, Elin was not allowed to ride in the ambulance with Woods to the hospital - standard procedure during a police response to an alleged domestic disturbance.

Finally, to this day it’s not known how Woods was able to get treatment for his injuries at a nearby hospital (which later blocked the FHP from obtaining Woods medical records) and return home over a period of 12 hours before the Windermere Police and the FHP informed the public of the accident.

Though, thanks to the Sentinel’s investigative report, we now have a much clearer idea of why things happened the way they did.