Good Samaritan recognized for helping EPD officer
— An Elkton resident was recognized by the town Board of Commissioners and police department for helping a police officer apprehend a suspect attempting to flee arrest last month.
Elkton Police Chief Matthew Donnelly presented the good Samaritan, Alan Pfau, with a challenge coin and a plaque from the town Wednesday night.
The March 26 incident began when Ofc. Dennis LaSassa pulled over a suspect on Booth Street for traffic violations, said Capt. Joseph Zurolo, EPD spokesman. LaSassa saw drugs in plain sight and proceeded to ask the suspect to get out of the car, Zurolo added. When LaSassa began to put handcuffs on the suspect, he ran and jumped a fence behind the 400 block of Booth Street.
As he getting groceries out of his car, Pfau saw the suspect running down Booth Street toward his direction. Acting on instinct, he pointed at the suspect and told him to get on the ground. Although, he did not forcefully take him to the ground, he did apprehend the suspect and search him for a weapon when he was on the ground, Pfau said.
He noted that he was not concerned for his own safety because he saw no immediate threat, but was concerned for the officer he assumed was chasing the suspect because he was unsure if the suspect harmed him.
Pfau said he held the suspect down no more than a minute or so when LaSassa came running up and another officer in a car arrived on the scene to take him into custody.
LaSassa said he saw Pfau come out of nowhere and take proactive steps to help catch the suspect.
“It’s a breath of fresh air,” LaSassa said of Pfau’s actions.
Pfau, who has served in the United States Army for 14 years, said law enforcement officers are like “extended family” to him, and it was a natural reaction to take action.
“He needed help, so I felt I needed to help him,” he said.
Pfau said he was not expecting an award or recognition for his help.
He said Lt. Holly Ayers, with the Elkton Police Department, told him he was going to be recognized for his help when she came to his home a few days after the incident.
She said she heard about his actions through word of mouth and looked up the report to find Pfau’s name. Ayers said she talked with Michelle Henson, lead administrative assistant for the town, about the town recognizing his efforts.
“It does mean a lot to me that they reached out and thanked me for helping an officer,” Pfau said after the ceremony. “I feel honored.”
Alan Pfau receives his award from Elkton Police Chief Matthew Donnelly on Wednesday night.