At a special ceremony this morning, Durham Regional Police honoured citizens who went above and beyond to help victims in need and improve public safety.
Chief Paul Martin, Durham Regional Police Services Board Chair and Regional Chair Roger Anderson, DRP senior officers and local mayors presented awards to 15 citizens who chose to take action, either by assisting those in need or helping to stop or solve a crime. In many cases, these citizens put their own safety at risk.
The ceremony was held in the Council Chamber at Regional Headquarters in Whitby. Recognized for their efforts were:
Stuart Mulcahy and Gerald Porter: For rushing to assist a man who collapsed after leaving an Uxbridge grocery store in June of 2013. Mr. Potter, was walking behind the male and managed to prevent his head from striking the pavement. A retired nurse (identity unknown) assisted Mr. Potter and they started to do CPR. As the retired nurse began to fatigue, store manager Stuart Mulcahy took over and continued to perform CPR. EMS arrived and used the defibrillator to bring back vital signs. The male was stabilized and transported to hospital. Without the quick action of these citizens, this event would have had a tragic outcome.
Erich Detering and Tanya Rose: In February 2014, ten-year-old Erich was a passenger in his mother Tanyas car when they spotted an impaired driver near Cannington. Erich called police while his mother continued to drive and keep an eye on this vehicle from a safe distance. Erich was able to give our call taker detailed information on the type of vehicle, a description of the driver as well as excellent evidence on the poor driving behaviour. Throughout the phone call, he continually updated our Communications/911 Unit on the location and actions of the driver. Officers arrived and safely concluded the incident.
Craig Farrow and Jacob Peeters: In November 2013, a 25-year-old male suffering from mental health issues entered a Clarington grocery store with his four-year-old child. The male poured out an energy drink onto the floor in a pentagram shape and sat in the middle of it. This caused a disturbance in the store and as he was being escorted out, he began to threaten everyone. The male struck an employee in the head, causing injury. Citizens Craig Farrow and Jacob Peeters, concerned everyones safety, jumped into action. They held the male down and took control of his hands. During this act, a knife fell out from underneath of the males clothing. They managed to gain control over the male and waituntil police arrived.
Doug Strickland: In October 2014, police were called to a gas bar in Clarington after a customer witnessed a robbery in progress. Doug Strickland observed the store clerk standing with his hands up in the air and a suspect dressed in a black hooded shirt. The suspect was seen grabbing things and placing them in a bag. Mr. Strickland retreated from the store and contacted the police. The police arrived while the robbery was still in progress. The victim fled the store into the waiting arms of arriving officers. A concealed knife was seized.
Dawn White: In February 2014, Dawn White had just stepped outside her home to have a cigarette when she noticed two women and two men on the sidewalk down the street. The group was arguing and it turned physical. Dawn saw a younger male punching an older male on the ground. She screamed and ran up the street while calling 911. Three people ran into a house and Dawn went to the aid of the fallen man, who was covered in blood. Soon the police arrived and the victim started to regain consciousness, despite serious head injuries.
If it were not for her quick action this aggravated assault could have turned into a homicide.
Dave Creasy and Logan Creasy: In September 2013, Dave Creasy and his son Logan were awakened by the screams of a woman pleading with a man. Dave drove to the Harmony Road bridge over Hwy. 401 but didnt realize his son had followed on foot. Dave tried to engage the male in conversation and discovered the distraught man was standing on the outside rail, over the highway. Dave was able to grab the man and pull him back over the railing to safety. They placed the male in their van and drove him to his residence, which was a short distance away. Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and attended to the male. Without their intervention, this incident may have resulted in tragedy.
Karen South: In May 2014, an elderly female made her way to the Whitby lakefront after consuming alcohol and medication. She was in a state of distress and had suicidal intentions. Karen South was walking her dog along the waterfront and came across the distressed female, who had jumped into the frigid lake. Mrs. South entered the water, called police and stayed with the female until police and ambulance arrived. Mrs. South remained in the cold water holding the female up as she was unable to pull the female from the water.
Without her brave action, this event may have been a tragedy.
Bryan Birch and Gajaanie Thaas: In November 2013, citizens stopped on Westney Road North in Ajax to assist a frantic female attempting to provide medical assistance to her husband. His heart had stopped and he was not breathing. He was reportedly cold and clammy to the touch. Bryan Birch and Gajaanie Thaas started CPR and moments later, Police, Fire and EMS arrived. The male subject had suffered a serious heart attack and doctors later credited this quick assistance with saving the mans life.
Jim Portener and Cheng Yan LIN: In November 2014, an armed male entered a Pickering convenience store and threatened the clerk. The clerk was able to escape and trap the suspect inside. Mr. Portener and Mr. Lin came to the aid of the clerk, keeping the door closed despite attempts by the suspect to get out. Officers arrived and arrested the accused. Mr. Portener, a retired police officer, suffered a cut to his hand and was treated in hospital. Without their courage, this offender may have made his getaway.
DRP would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to these citizens for their outstanding contributions to public safety. Congratulations to all of our recipients!
Citizen Heroes with Chief, CAO MacLellan and Sgt. Emmy Iheme (JPG file, 397.8K bytes)
Dave Creasy Accepts His Award (JPG file, 189.0K bytes)
Jim Portener Accepts His Award (JPG file, 228.8K bytes)