New Orange County park opens, dedicated to fallen hero

Deputy killed December 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange county opened a new park on Saturday dedicated to the memory of Orange County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Coates, who was killed during a traffic stop in December of 2010.

Deputies said Brandon Lyals shot Coats twice in the head during a traffic stop near Nashville Avenue and 45th Street on the evening of December 8.

Lyals took his own life later that same evening.

The park, which is named for Coates, opened Saturday at 10 a.m. at 3815 Substation Road in Orlando.

Coates had been on the force for close to five years after serving two tours of duty in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. Coates married Virginia Anne Wright in October 2009, they had no children.  

The event was attended by Coats mother, Debbie Griffen, his wife, Virginia Coats, along with Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs, Commissioner, S. Scott Boyd, Commissioner Jennifer Thompson, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings and Orlando Police Deputy Chief Orlando Rolon.

A memorial bench, in honor of Deputy Coates, was unveiled during the ceremony. The bench and a 30-foot skateboard shade structure in the park were created by Ira Hill, a sculptor from Tallahassee.