Washington Co. Sheriff's office honors acts of heroism

  • Article by: KEVIN GILES , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 16, 2008 - 7:26 PM

Washington County recognized a number of deputies for their actions, including preventing crime and saving lives.

When a 75-year-old Mahtomedi resident with dementia went missing, Deputy Paul Stenglein of the Washington County Sheriff's Office wouldn't give up. The deputy hunted on foot -- in the dark -- until he rescued the man from a shallow pond 11 hours after he disappeared.

"The way it was described to me was all you could see was his face sticking out of the water," said Commander Patrick Olson, who heads the investigative unit. Stenglein was one of several deputies who were awarded commendations recently for actions that included saving lives, preventing crime and disarming assailants.

Sheriff Bill Hutton presented the awards at a recognition ceremony at the Washington County Government Center. Turn to AAX for a list of recipients.

LETTERS OF EXCELLENCE

• Deputies Mike Petrey and Kyle Olson, who revived a Lake Elmo man with CPR.

• Deputy Chris Majeski, who organized the first-ever National Night Out in Scandia.

• Deputy Jim Gribble and Sgt. Larry Osterman, who coordinated law enforcement staffing and equipment in the aftermath of the Hugo tornado.

• Deputy Pete Godfrey, who disarmed a suicidal teenager girl who was holding a knife to her throat.

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE CITATIONS

• The patrol division, communications center and reserve unit. Employees in these components of the Sheriff's Office were recognized for their effort with emergency operations after the Hugo tornado.

LIFE-SAVING AWARD

• In addition to Stenglein, the honor was awarded to Deputy Chris Majeski and Scandia resident Ann Nicklason, who revived a man from a heart attack. That person, Jeffrey Lynn, attended the awards ceremony.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD

• Sgt. Andy Ellickson, who was responding to the tornado damage in Hugo when he saw a pickup the tornado had flipped. A woman was inside the cab, holding an infant, while power lines fell around the truck. "It was dark and the weather conditions were horrendous at the time," Olson said. Ellickson and Deputy Joe Zerwas rescued the mother and baby, Nancy and Ashley Fisher, who attended the awards ceremony.

MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD

• Deputy Jim Gribble for his "untiring" efforts at obtaining state and federal grants for the county's water patrol. He's a member of the Sheriff's Office dive team and assists with the reserve program.

• Investigator Keith Anderson and his canine Simon for their work in schools to fight drugs.

MEDAL OF VALOR

• Sgt. Andy Ellickson for his role in the apprehension of a gunman during a home invasion in Lakeland. In addition to helping subdue and arrest the man, who had shot the homeowner, Ellickson coordinated the peace officers who responded to the scene and set up a perimeter.

Kevin Giles • 651-258-1554

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