12/12/2011

Lt. Dan MarcouBlue Knights
with Lt. Dan Marcou

2011 in Review: Celebrating police heroes and the '12 Knights of Christmas'

Police officers are modern knights whose work is so profoundly important it has received biblical mention: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

Have you ever heard this often-uttered statement? “There’s never a cop around when you need one?” Well, I’m going to prove — repeatedly — that statement to be absolutely bogus. In each one of the below incidents, police officers were not only in the right place at the right time, but did exactly the right thing at the right time. There are men, women, and children who will be thankfully enjoying this Christmas with their families because there were cops right there when they needed them. So without further delay, we present what’s become an annual PoliceOne tradition... “The 12 Knights of Christmas.”

January 3, 2011 — Officers Save Motorist from Icy Death
In January, Officers Frederick Williams and Stanley Saunders of the Detroit Police Department responded to a call that a car had smashed through a cement barricade and skid across the ice covering the Detroit River. They found the vehicle had not submerged, but was suspended precariously on shaky ice. The two officers rescued the driver, who was still in the vehicle and as a team pulled him across the ice to safety only to discover that the man had landed there deliberately in a failed suicide attempt.

Dr. Victor Frankl’s research showed that most people, who survive a serious suicide attempt, live to eventually be thankful they failed. This driver will get an opportunity to re-asses his rash decision thanks to the selfless bravery of these two officers.

Read more here.

February 13, 2011 — A “5 Percenter” Rescues Rape Victim During Traffic Stop
Trooper Brett Dupre’ of the Louisiana State Patrol pulled a vehicle over for having only one operational tail light and sensed something more was afoot in spite of the calm demeanor of 24-year-old Allen Lee Martin. Dupre’ continued to pursue his curiosity and ultimately he arrested the “smooth criminal.”

Dupre’s roadside investigation revealed Martin had broken into a home a female, who at the time was taking a shower. Martin repeatedly raped her at knife point and then kidnapped her. He drove her to an ATM where he forced her to take money out of her account. One can easily speculate where the journey would have ended for the young female if Dupre’ would not have decided to make that “routine traffic stop.”

This Christmas, and for many more Martin is a resident of the Crowbar Hotel and a young lady will be surrounded by a family, who loves her, thanks to a “5 percenter,” Trooper Dupre’.

Read more here.

March 4, 2011 — Officer Pulls Two From Burning Apartment Building
John Tully of the Lawrence (Mass.) Police Department was the first to arrive at an in progress fire in a housing authority apartment building. He was told there was still someone left inside. Flames were lapping out a window on the second floor when Tully entered the complex, climbing immediately up a flight of stairs. Below the smoke he saw 78 year old Sam Khoury lying on the floor at the end of a long hallway.

Tully ran downstairs, took a deep breath and ran back up and down the hall-way. He determinedly began the process of pulling Khoury to safety. After he had dragged Khoury part way down the hall-way Tully had to run back downstairs and take another breath of fresh air. Officer Tully was joined at this juncture by a courageous citizen, Ivan Cruz. The two of them returned to the victim and were able to drag Khoury to the top of the stairs. It was here Cruz went down, overcome by the smoke. Tully ran down the stairs once again, took another breath, returned and pulled both men to safety. Cruz, Khoury, and Officer Tully were all treated for smoke inhalation, but thanks to Tully all of them will be able to roast chestnuts over an open fire this Christmas.

Read more here.

April 18, 2011 — Cleveland Officers Rescue Kidnap Victim
After four suspects kidnapped a 58-year-old man and demanded $130,000 in ransom, the perilous investigation led to a pick-up in a garage, which contained two kidnappers and the hostage. Cleveland Officers converged and called for the suspects to surrender, but instead the driver attempted to flee by driving at one of the officers. The officers defended themselves and open fire, killing the driver, but even under these incredibly stressful conditions no one else was injured. The second suspect surrendered and the kidnap victim was rescued. Way to Go Cleveland PD!

Read more here.

May 24, 2011 — Lucky Driver Crashes into Police Officer Head-on
Lorin Webber of the Cheshire Connecticut Police Department was on his way to a call, when he noticed a car crossing the center-line into his lane. Webber slowed down enough and moved as far to the right as he could, but the careening car hit him head on. Officer Webber exited and contacted the driver, whose foot was still on the accelerator.

Officer Webber discovered the driver’s condition grave and rapidly deteriorating due to Diabetic Shock. Webber called for EMS and smashed the window of the car to extricate the driver and began emergency medical care for the driver who went from seizures to cardiac arrest. Thanks to the luck of the driver (He just happened to hit a patrol car) and the trained and expert action of Webber this driver will be spending another Christmas with his family.

Read more here.

June 26, 2011 — Officer In Field Training Saves One Year Old Child
Officer Jason Gilpin and Jacob Tatum were at an apartment complex on another matter, when they heard such a commotion in another apartment, they had to investigate. The cause for the commotion was a family panicked, because their one year old child’s airway was totally obstructed.

Officer Tatum, who just happened to be in Field Training on only his third day on the job, picked up the child and was able to identify the cause of the obstruction. He expertly dislodged a barrette from the throat of the choking child. Officer Tatum’s action not only saved the child’s life, but also undoubtedly resulted in his receiving a positive rating on his Daily Observation Report completed by Field Training Officer Gilpin.

Read more here.

July 9, 201 — Officer Takes Time Off From Her Time Off to Save a Three-Year-Old Boy
Officer Mallory Reis of the Cranston Rhode Island Police Department was off duty and relaxing with her family at Curlew Pond in Plymouth (R.I), when a nine year old girl pulled her three year old brother ashore at the unguarded beach.

As Officer Reis approached the group gathered around the small limp body, someone yelled frantically, “Who knows CPR?” Mallory snapped into action responding “I got this. I know CPR.” She immediately determined the child was cyanotic and lifeless. Officer Reis was able to clear the boy’s lungs of water and began mouth to mouth. She was joined by an off duty Fireman, who began chest compressions.

In an interview after the save Officer Reis described the elation, when this lifeless child suddenly began to breathe again. Thanks to Mallory the three year old boy will experience the elation of finding presents under the tree on many more Christmas mornings.

Read more here.

August 30, 2011 — Illinois Officer Saves Life of a Motorcyclist
Officer Elliot Rose of the Campton Hills Illinois Police Department arrived at the scene of a motorcycle accident and found a victim’s life rapidly slipping away from blood loss, after the traumatic amputation of a leg. Rose had been a paramedic for 12 years, but at the moment he was ill-equipped to do much. In spite of this fact Rose sprung into action.

To keep the man alive until emergency services could arrive, Officer Rose took a roll of gauze and wrapped it around the man’s leg. He then used his pen to twist-tighten the bandage. The make-shift tourniquet worked, for the massive bleeding stopped. Thanks to Officer Rose, who improvised adapted and over-came Steven Allen, who sadly lost a leg in the accident will have the opportunity to do the same.

Read more here.

September 10, 2011 — Off Duty Officer Transitions From Gas Pumping to Gun Fighting
Paul Brantley, an eight year veteran of the South Houston Police Department, pulled into the College Avenue CITGO and began pumping gas into his personal vehicle. Brantley was unaware that Daniel Torres was inside the store robbing the station.

Two employees from an adjacent business entered the CITGO to make a purchase and they were both shot by Torres. Brantley armed and in uniform, but off-duty, heard the gunfire and intervened, when Torres exited. After a brief exchange of gunfire Torres fled on foot with Brantley in cautious armed pursuit.

The intrepid Brantley caught up with Torres one and a half blocks from the scene ironically in the parking lot of a funeral home. After another exchange of gun fire, Officer Brantley was the last man standing. Both employees survived their wounds and thanks to Officer Brantley South Houston citizens were given an early Christmas present. They will never again terrorized by Daniel Torres.

Read more here.

October 2011 — Off Duty Officer Orders a Pizza, but is Delivered a Gun Battle
Frank Pobjecky off-duty Winnebago County Deputy stopped at Marie’s Pizza in Rockford, Illinois to pick up supper, when four thugs entered the business brandishing firearms and threatening the lives of all present. Pobjecky decisively armed himself and engaged the suspects. After a short, furious gun fight the four suspects discovered as the song goes, they, “fought the law and the law won.” Every innocent citizen in that business is enjoying Christmas thanks to Deputy Pobjecky’s courageous actions.

Read more here.

November 5, 201 —Sergeant Writing a Ticket Gets a Unique Walk-up Emergency
Pasadena Texas Sergeant Jerry Wight was writing a citation to a motorist, when a frantic mother approached with her young son, who had affixed a zip-tie around his own neck. The zip tie was slowly strangling the boy and was on so tight it could not be cut off with a knife without seriously injuring the boy. Wright immediately reacted and went back to his squad and dug out his trusty seat belt cutting tool.

Sergeant Wright returned and while adeptly wielding this device he was able to cut the tie without injuring the neck of the young boy. Initially Sergeant Wright wanted to remain anonymous, but relented to requests for publicity in hopes that release of the tape might serve to prevent some of the thousand-plus accidental child suffocations that occur in this country annually.

This little boy may have to contend with a lump of coal in his stocking for tightening a zip-tie around his own neck, but at least he will be getting a stocking, thanks to a quick-thinking police sergeant.

Read more here.

December 2, 2011 — Officer Saves His Own Life By His Own Actions
On December 2 at 0320 hours an officer of the Hempstead New York Police Department was engaged in a foot pursuit with two robbery suspects, when one suspect turned and fired at the officer. The officer was struck twice and wounded, but returned fire downing the suspect with multiple hits to the groin area.

The second suspect was also taken into custody. The officer was shot in the arm and the back, but the most potentially devastating round in the back was stopped by his vest. This officer will be spending Christmas with his family, because of his own actions.

A hearty thanks to Chief Joseph Wing of the Village of Hempstead Police Department and all Chiefs and Sheriffs who have policies that say, “You shall wear your body armor.” There are thousands of officers spending Christmas season with their families, because they donned their body armor at the beginning of each shift and were wearing it on a fateful day or night when it saved them.

Read more here.

To all readers out there take a moment over the holidays as you are gazing into the peaceful “starry, starry night,” to give yourself a present this Christmas. Acknowledge that you are indeed modern knights whose work is so profoundly important it has received biblical mention. For it has been written, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

From all of us at PoliceOne, have a blessed and Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay Positive!

About the author

Lt. Dan Marcou retired as a highly decorated police lieutenant and SWAT Commander with 33 years of full time law enforcement experience. He is a nationally recognized police trainer in many police disciplines and is a Master Trainer in the State of Wisconsin. He has authored three novels The Calling: The Making of a Veteran Cop , S.W.A.T. Blue Knights in Black Armor, and Nobody's Heroes are all available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Visit his website and contact Dan Marcou
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