saint paul

saint paul

Saint Paul Police Chief Citizen Award Ceremony

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Police Chief Citizen Award Ceremony was held on March 5th, 2014 at the Western District's community room, 389 North Hamline Avenue. At that time, Chief Thomas Smith presented the following eight citizens with awards: Chief's Award for Valor: Mr. Eric Wasson: On September 21, 2013 he was working security at Johnny Baby's Bar when a man with a gun approached him. Mr. Wasson struggled with the man and fought to get the gun away. The weapon was fired twice but miraculously no one was hit. In the parking lot, Mr. Wasson managed to wrestle the gun away. The owner of the bar assisted in detaining the suspect. Some of the patrons at the bar became very angry and to avoid a possible fight, or even a riot, Mr. Wasson suggested to the owner that he should bring the suspect into his office until police arrived. Mr. Wasson remained calm and sensible during a very chaotic situation. He prevented further violence from happening when he decided to remove the suspect from the spotlight. He displayed a great amount of courage when he chose to disarm the suspect and protect the customers in the bar. Chief's Awards for Merit: Mr. David Christensen/Mr. Roy Cloutier/ Mr. Dao Van Huynh: On the evening of October 24, 2013 these men were walking around Como Lake when they heard a moaning sound coming from the lake. Water was splashing and it appeared that someone was struggling in the water. A man yelled for help and these three men jumped into the bone-chilling water to rescue the young man who was drowning. They pulled him to safety and he was transported to United Hospital for hypothermia. Without hesitation for their own safety, they risked their lives to assist a complete stranger. Chief's Awards: Mr. Mark Hovorka/Mr. Manteen Muhammad/Mr. LeJohn Pope: On June 6, 2013 two females were standing in between their parked cars when suddenly, one of the vehicles rolled backwards, pinning one of the females between the two vehicles. These three men coordinated their efforts to push and hold the car back so the injured woman could free herself. One of the men managed to jump into the car and put it back into park. Medics were called and the woman was transferred to Regions Hospital to be treated for her injuries. The actions of these three men were honorable and admirable -- they all risked injury to themselves while helping to rescue the woman trapped between the cars. Chief's Award: Mr. Rene Martinez: On September 23, 2013 he was working his job as a security officer when he was told that a man was threatening to jump off a bridge over I-94. Mr. Martinez immediately went to the area and found the distraught man. He began talking to the man and built a great rapport. When officers arrived on the scene, it was apparent that the man was more receptive to Mr. Martinez than the officers. For almost an hour, Mr. Martinez remained calm and spoke to the distraught man with compassion and encouraging words. The man finally agreed to come off the bridge. He was transported to Regions Hospital for an evaluation. Mr. Martinez's professionalism and empathy were instrumental in resolving this critical situation.