Valor Award 1990-1999

 

TROOPER ANTHONY MATTIE
December 29, 1990


Trooper Mattie became involved in a bank robbery/hostage situation in Trinidad. Although he was off-duty, he responded to the scene, utilizing his hostage negotiation training, and acted quickly in stabilizing and extremely dangerous and life threatening situation. After almost three hours of negotiations, Trooper Mattie established such a rapport with the robber that he would only surrender to him. Mattie went into the bank, took the weapon from the robber, and placed him under arrest.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



SERGEANT JOHN T. MITCHELL
TROOPER TERRY TAYLOR
February 2, 1991


Sergeant Mitchell was riding with Trooper Taylor when they stopped a car two miles south of Delta on Colorado 50. When Taylor asked the driver to exit the car, he abruptly reached under a sleeping bag on the front seat and secured a Ruger .44 Magnum pistol. Taylor grabbed the driver’s hands in an effort to keep him from raising the weapon. As Taylor and the driver struggled for control, the weapon discharged, striking the dash of the car. Simultaneously, Mitchell drew his weapon and shouted a warning for the driver to drop the gun. When he didn’t comply, Mitchell shot the driver in the upper right shoulder and the driver released the weapon.


TROOPER RANDY GODSEY
April 7, 1992


Trooper Godsey observed a pickup truck roll over and burst into flames. He grabbed his fire extinguisher and ran to put out the fire. Suddenly a young woman pushed her head out the passenger side window and pleaded for Godsey to help her. She was totally engulfed in flames. He immediately attempted to pull her from the blazing vehicle which was burning out of control. Godsey was only able to pull her a short way out when she became stuck. Godsey’s hand, arm, and boots were on fire, but he extinguished the flames consuming he and the young woman. Godsey then entered the raging inferno in a second attempt to extricate the woman. Two bystanders came forward to assist him, and together were able to pull the woman out of the vehicle.

 


CAPTAIN WILLIAM WOLFE
September 6, 1992


Captain Wolfe was in command of a sobriety checkpoint near the Trinidad city limits on southbound Interstate 25. A vehicle entered the area at a high rate of speed and continued to accelerate as it approached the checkpoint. Wolfe shouted a warning to others. Frantically he waved the reflective sign and flashlight, then ran into the path of the oncoming vehicle. At the last second he leapt aside, striking the windshield with the sign. The vehicle grazed him, knocking him into the median. The driver slowed and swerved, briefly skidding before striking one of the cars in the checkpoint. The driver had been drinking and was charged with four counts of vehicular assault. Wolfe’s efforts slowed the vehicle and prevented more serious injuries or fatalities.

 


TROOPER CLAUDE EDENS
February 8, 1994


Trooper Edens heard a Weld County deputy call for assistance regarding a man with a gun. Edens was informed the suspect was holding a gun to his head and threatening suicide. The suspect was distraught over marital problems. Edens knew the suspect, approached his vehicle, and was told to back off. Edens removed his weapon and engaged the suspect in conversation. Since it was cold out, Trooper Edens suggested it would be easier to talk if they sat in the suspect’s truck. The suspect held his 9mm pistol cocked in his left hand against his chest and a picture of his wife in his right hand. For the next 45 minutes Edens negotiated with the suspect, and finally succeeded in disarming the man and placing him under arrest.

 


MS. ELIZABETH “BETH” KIMZEY
June 11, 1994


A semi-truck, westbound on Interstate 70, ran off the right side of the road and collided with the Wolcott overpass guardrail. The collisions ruptured the right fuel tank and immediately caught fire. Beth Kimzey, also westbound, pulled off on the shoulder in front of the truck. The driver exited the truck, got his fire extinguisher, and went around to the right side of the vehicle. The driver fell over the guardrail and eight to 10 feet down the side. He suffered a broken back and was dazed by his fall. Due to the spreading fuel the truck was engulfed in flames and the area where the driver had fallen was starting to burn. Burning debris from the truck and trailer began to fall around him as well. Disregarding her own personal safety, Ms. Kimzey ran down the embankment to the injured driver, and helped him get up and out of danger. Soon the area where the driver had fallen became enveloped in flames. Ms. Kimzey then asked what kind of materials were being hauled to determine a possible explosion and also directed traffic until a Trooper had arrived. Had it not been for her immediate actions the driver most certainly would have been killed or seriously injured. Ms. Kimzey’s actions met the expectations of a well trained uniformed member, yet the fact remains she was a civilian employee.


TECHNICIAN JOE LEAL
April 3, 1995


Technician Leal was working east of Pueblo, on Colorado 50, when he heard a sheriff’s radio report of a female with a knife. Since he was close, he responded and upon arrival he found the Principal of a Junior High School talking to two girls in the yard of a private residence. One of the girls held a 13 inch butcher knife in her right hand to the throat of the other girl. Several requests from Technician Leal to drop the knife were refused. The suspect was very agitated and said she like hurting other people and had tried to kill another girl who had gotten away. While pointing the knife at Technician Leal, she was distracted by conversation with a sheriff’s deputy who had arrived. While her attention was focused on the other officer, Technician Leal grabbed the suspect and disarmed her. Due to the suspect’s mental state and ability to hurt the other girl or herself, Technician Leal’s actions defused a hostile situation and averted a calamity.


TROOPER J.K. BEAUCHAMP
May 14, 1996


Canadian Police Officer Michael Tremblay was traveling along Ten Mile Creek when he had an accident, causing his truck and trailer to go into the river. Trooper Beauchamp arrived promptly on scene, and found Mr. Tremblay still in the water. With no hesitation, Trooper Beauchamp jumped into the river and threw the driver a rope. As Police Officer Tremblay stated, “His quickness and courage saved my life,” Trooper Beauchamp when finding out the driver was far from home, invited him to his house and then to town to settle his situation.

 

 


TROOPER MICHAEL BALENTI
September 28, 1996


At approximately 1554 hours the Colorado State Patrol was asked to provide assistance to the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office. A subject had violated a restraining order and had barricaded himself into the Chimney Rock Café 20 miles west of Pagosa Springs. Troopers Balenti, Cruz and Downey responded and arrived at the scene at 1612 hours, followed up by personnel of the Archuleta Sheriff’s Office and Pagosa Springs Police Department. After several minutes of negotiations the subject exited the café with a loaded high powered rifle. Under sheriff Hebert continued to try to talk the man down, but the subject stated he would shoot if the under sheriff did anything but talk. While the Under sheriff kept the subject occupied, Trooper Balenti was able to subdue and the disarm the suspect. Trooper Balenti exercised outstanding courage and control in a very volatile situation, bringing the situation to a safe end. Because of his actions, no one was injured during the subject’s apprehension, no shots were fired, and the subject was taken into custody without further incident.


TROOPER PENELOPE BELMONT
February 1, 1998


On February 1, 1998 at 0230 hours Trooper Penelope Belmont assisted her fellow troopers with a pursuit that ended on Pecos Street at Colorado Highway 76. This incident resulted in a traffic accident that caused the vehicle to overturn and come to a rest on its top. Because of the accident the gas line was severed and tank ruptured. The vehicle began to burn which caused the interior to rapidly fill with smoke. Two occupants remained in the vehicle and were unable to exit because of injuries and locked/damaged doors. Trooper Belmont made several unsuccessful attempts to open the doors of the vehicle and had to break out the rear driver’s side window with her baton. She then unlocked the passenger’s door and removed the passenger who was pinned between the seat and dashboard. The driver was unconscious and suspended by his shoulder harness that was cutting into his throat. His body was pinned between the seat and dashboard of the vehicle too. Trooper Belmont tried unsuccessfully to extricate the driver. Another Trooper advised that the vehicle was continuing to burn and that it was perched on an embankment of a ditch that could slide down anytime. Trooper Belmont then cut the shoulder harness with her knife. Another Trooper assisted by pushing the driver’s seat into a reclining position, allowing Trooper Belmont to assess the driver was not breathing and had no pulse. Due to the limited are she began to massage his sternum area that resulted in the driver starting to breathe on his own. The driver was transported to a local hospital where he survived and was released at a later date. It should be noted that a Deputy from Adams County Sheriff’s Department stated it took approximately six fire extinguishers in an attempt to extinguish the fire, but it kept reigniting due to the ruptured gas line. The Deputy advised that his main concern was Trooper Belmont’s safety and the vehicle possibly exploding or become totally engulfed in flames.


CAPTAIN GARY MYERS
December 8, 1998


At approximately 8:50 a.m., on December 8, 1998, a Colorado Department of Transportation employee rushed into the Greeley CSP office and told the CSP staff that there was a man with a gun in the next building. Captain Myers exited the State Patrol office and from the front step he saw a male with a gun who had just exited the front door of the CDOT building located next to the Patrol office. Captain Myers drew his weapon and standing in plain view, ordered the subject to drop his gun several times. The subject would not surrender his gun and fired two shots at Captain Myers. Captain Myers returned fire and took cover behind a small concrete support at the front entry to the CSP office. Captain Myers and the subject were approximately 85 feet apart at this time. Shots were exchanged with the subject being hit several times, but continuing to advance towards Captain Myers. As the subject looked Captain Myers in the eye and repeatedly said, “do your duty, shoot me,” Captain Myers again ordered him to drop his gun. The subject opened fire again and Captain Myers returned fire, fatally wounding the subject. At the time the subject was confronted by Captain Myers, he had just shot two CDOT employees and was looking for one to four more. Captain Myers actions were exemplary; he followed all State Patrol policies and procedures and made every attempt possible to have the subject surrender his weapon.