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St. Paul officer honored for halting vicious assaults

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON
  • Star Tribune
  • April 23, 2012 - 7:26 PM

St. Paul police officer Jeff Schwab had just arrived home Nov. 18 when a call came in about a violent offender who had kidnapped a woman and was on the move.

For the next several hours Schwab worked relentlessly with the Ramsey County sheriff's apprehension unit to capture Samuel Jay McGown, who had kidnapped his girlfriend. McGown is a sex offender with a history of domestic assault.

Sheriff Matt Bostrom on Monday presented Schwab with the first-ever Sheriff's Office Award for Excellence.

"When you see the quality of work that was done in this particular case, it was above and beyond," Bostrom said.

McGown was arrested early the next morning after a lengthy standoff at the Sure-Lock Motel in Newport. He was accused of assaulting and kidnapping his girlfriend from the 200 block of 4th Avenue N. in South St. Paul. St. Paul police had been searching for him since Nov. 7 when his girlfriend reported a previous assault.

"He was more than in the top 10 most wanted, he was the person we needed to stop," Bostrom said.

Bostrom and others say that Schwab, who works in the Family Violence Unit, works closely with sheriffs in Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties. Police Chief Tom Smith praised Schwab for has passion for his job, compassion for victims and consistent excellence.

Sheriff's Commander Bob Pavlak said he knows of no fewer than five other similar arrests by Schwab, who won St. Paul's Officer of the Year award in 2008.

"Our mission is that every victim is worth fighting for," Schwab said.

After the capture, Pavlak recalled taking a physically and mentally depleted Schwab through a restaurant drive-through "just to get some food in him."

Pavlak said McGown's victim endured horrific experiences and likely would have endured much worse had the predator not been stopped.

In the Nov. 7 incident, McGown was accused in Ramsey County of choking his girlfriend until she passed out three times because she didn't show him enough affection. He also allegedly bit her. He was charged with kidnapping, stalking and felony domestic assault in Dakota County in connection with the multi-day assault that Schwab stopped.

McGown pleaded guilty to kidnapping in Ramsey County. He was sentenced in February to four years and two months in prison.

Rochelle Olson • 651-925-5035 Twitter: @rochelleolson

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