Good Sa­mar­i­tan rec­og­nized for help­ing EPD of­fi­cer

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

ELK­TON

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY BRI­ANNA SHEA

Alan Pfau re­ceives his award from Elk­ton Po­lice Chief Matthew Don­nelly on Wed­nes­day night.

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