Valor Award 2010-2018
Trooper Ramiro Contreras
October 6, 2017
On August 25, 2018, Saguache County Deputies had requested assistance with a pursuit they were involved in with a stolen Jeep Liberty with speeds above 100 MPH. The occupants of the vehicle were reported to be armed and suspected of committing several crimes in recent days throughout the region. As the pursuit headed southbound on Highway 17, Sergeant Noga and Trooper Ramiro Contreras responded to assist with bringing the pursuit to an end. Moments after Sergeant Noga was able to successfully deploy stop sticks, Trooper Contreras became the lead vehicle in the pursuit. While involved in the pursuit, one of the occupants dialed 911 and reported that if law enforcement did not back off she would kill both the driver and herself. The suspect affirmed she was armed with a shotgun. Trooper Contreras directed the communications officer to instruct the suspect to put on her seatbelt as his plan was to perform a tactical vehicle intervention. As Trooper Contreras prepared for the TVI, he observed the suspect point the shotgun toward the left rear of the vehicle in Trooper Contreras’ direction. The suspect continued to threaten the lives of others while on the phone with call takers. The suspect vehicle was becoming increasingly disabled and ultimately the driver brought the vehicle to a stop. Both the driver and passenger exited, the passenger brandishing the shotgun, and began to run toward a third vehicle that had stopped in the immediate vicinity. Trooper Contreras, recognizing the immediate threat to the lives of the two occupants of the third vehicle as well as to law enforcement officers, engaged the armed female suspect with his rifle, successfully ending any threat she imposed. The male suspect retrieved the shotgun and took his own life with a single shot.
Trooper Contreras, without hesitation, placed others above himself during a very violent and deadly situation. Trooper Contreras displayed a very calm demeanor, bravery, courage and self-sacrifice during the pursuit and when the pursuit came to an end. There is no doubt that Trooper Contreras’ quick actions saved the lives of two innocent female parties and other law enforcement officers who were present.
Sergeant Joshua Boden
November 22, 2018
On November 22, 2018, Thanksgiving, Sergeant Joshua Boden responded to an unknown injury rollover crash on Colorado 135 about milepost 23, in Gunnison County just south of Crested Butte. Once on scene, Sergeant Boden contacted the driver of the vehicle while in the back of an ambulance as he was being treated for minor injuries. Sergeant Boden also detected indicators of alcohol impairment from the driver. The driver refused medical treatment and was released by the EMT's. Sergeant Boden continued his investigation and noted the driver’s behavior seemed odd beyond just alcohol impairment. Sergeant Boden continued his investigation and ultimately asked the driver if he would be willing to perform voluntary roadside maneuvers. During this exchange, the driver indicated he was going to “make this easy” and produced a handgun. Sergeant Boden, along with cover officers, drew their weapons while providing consistent and loud commands to the driver to put down the weapon. Another cover officer protected and removed the driver’s sister from the immediate area for her safety. The driver did not put down the gun and repeatedly would raise and lower the handgun from his side at times pointing it at his own head. Sergeant Boden noticed the driver manipulating the safety moments before he began to raise the weapon again. Believing his own life as well as the lives of his fellow officers were in danger, Sergeant Boden fired his weapon ending any potential threat. Sergeant Boden and cover officers immediately secured the driver’s weapon and attempted lifesaving measures. Ultimately, the driver did not survive his wounds. Sgt. Boden gave the suspect every opportunity to end the situation peacefully, but ultimately was forced to take action to ensure the safety of himself and others.
Trooper Wesley Kartus
March 14, 2017
In March, 2017, two members from the CATPA Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (CMATT), were working to identify an auto thief. Sergeant Matthew Beaudin established an operational plan in an effort to identify a suspect. On March 14th the vehicle was followed to a park where the driver exited the vehicle. Once the suspect was away from the vehicle, Sergeant Beaudin, Trooper Kartus, and two other detectives from other law enforcement agencies approached the suspect and identified themselves as police officers. As the officers approached, the suspect ignored the commands, and pulled a handgun from his waistband and fired at the officers. All four approaching officers fired their guns, ending the threat.
TROOPER John Stark
October 6, 2017
On October 6, 2017, Trooper Stark spotted a REDDI report at I-70 near Youngsfield Street. Trooper Stark initiated contact and activated his emergency lights and sirens. As Trooper Stark approached the vehicle the driver exited, turned towards Trooper Stark and pointed a handgun directly at him. Trooper Stark immediately recognized the threat and while retreating to the rear of his patrol car for cover, Trooper Stark drew his handgun and fired at the suspect. Despite being hit twice by Trooper Stark, the suspect returned to his pickup and fled at a high rate of speed. Trooper Stark was undeterred by this attempt on his life and returned to his patrol car to pursue the suspect. The suspect exited from Hwy 58 onto McIntyre Street. The suspect ran over a raised center median and went off the west side of the roadway before coming to a stop. Trooper Stark exited his vehicle with his shotgun and moved to a position in an effort to gain a vantage point of the suspect. The suspect then put his truck in reverse and drove towards Trooper Stark. Trooper Stark fired his shotgun and struck the suspect. Without Trooper Stark's decisive action, calm demeanor and articulation of the events as they were occurring, the situation could have been much more tragic. Trooper Stark is to be commended for the courage he showed in this perilous situation.
TROOPER DANIEL HALEY
November 27, 2010
On November 27, 2010 at approximately 4:00pm Trooper Daniel Haley was with his family at the Greeley Family FunPlex, a recreation center, when he saw three boys standing on ice covering a nearby pond. Trooper Haley suddenly saw one of the boys, 10 year old Brenndan Daviet, fall through the ice about 20 yards from shore. Trooper Haley immediately ran out to the pond and with great courage, began low crawling across the ice towards Brenndan. Trooper Haley was dressed in shorts, running shoes, a long sleeve t-shirt and down vest, adequate clothing for an unseasonably warm day, but not for exposure to freezing water. As he continued to crawl across the ice his concern was for Brenndan and for the other two boys who fortunately had not fallen through. As the other boys heeded his commands to slowly back away towards shore, the ice beneath Trooper Haley broke through as well, submerging him into the freezing water. Trooper Haley managed to reach Brenndan and found him to still be buoyant and able to maneuver himself with little assistance. However, as they moved to shore Brenndan’s clothing began to drag him under water. According to Trooper Haley’s wife Kirstin, a nurse at a local hospital, Brenndan went under water at least five times. Trooper Haley grabbed Brenndan and began to pull him to shore, yet Brenndan began to panic and struggle, nearly pulling both of them underwater! Once they reached the ice shelf, Trooper Haley could not push Brenndan or himself on top of the ice and began breaking the ice with his elbows while moving closer to shore.
Ultimately, Trooper Haley was able to get Brenndan back on the ice and onto shore. By this point Brenndan had been in the water for nearly five minutes and was hypothermic. While Kirstin began treating Brenndan for hypothermia, it took a few more minutes for Trooper Haley to pull himself onto the ice shelf. Trooper Haley spent nearly 10 minutes in the icy water as well.
Both Brenndan and Trooper Haley were taken to North Colorado Medical Center and treated for hypothermia, and both have since recovered. It is clear that Trooper Haley’s clear, calm, and decisive actions saved the life of Brenndan and possibly the other two boys on the ice. Trooper Haley later said he believed that delaying action would result in tragedy, yet he also understood the consequences of his actions. Responding officers from the Greeley Police Department and EMS personnel credit Trooper Haley with saving Brenndan’s life. As a result of Trooper Haley’s actions on November 27, 2010, he is hereby awarded with the Colorado State Patrol Medal of Valor.
TROOPER MARK BUNETA
TROOPER BRIAN KOHNLEIN
TROOPER CLAYTON MOCK
TROOPER RODNEY NOGA
TROOPER GARY SCHAAF
August 10, 2011
On August 10, 2011 at approximately 902 hours, the Colorado State Patrol received a tip that the three wanted Dougherty sibling fugitives from Florida may be in the area of Colorado City. Their vehicle was spotted at a gas station near Interstate 25 and Exit 74. Attempting to initiate a traffic stop at this location, the suspects’ vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit headed south on Interstate 25 into Huerfano County, ending at mile marker 52 after stop sticks were deployed to disable the suspects’ vehicle.
Trooper Mark Buneta, Trooper Brian Kohnlein, Trooper Clayton Mock, Trooper Rodney Noga, and Trooper Gary Schaaf demonstrated an outstanding degree of professionalism during the pursuit. These three siblings were wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the attempted murder of a Florida police officer and the robbery of a bank in Georgia. They had been on the run from law enforcement for several days and were armed. During the pursuit one of the siblings held an AK-47 out of the window of their vehicle firing multiple rounds at Trooper Buneta, Trooper Kohnlein, Trooper Mock and Trooper Schaaf.
Trooper Noga placed himself into position to deploy the stop sticks at mile marker 52. While in his position he was also in danger of being shot or run over by fleeing suspects, yet stayed in his location and successfully deployed the sticks. After hitting the sticks the suspects’ vehicle went out of control and crashed. Ultimately the three suspects were captured after a brief shootout with law enforcement personnel, with no injuries to law enforcement, yet one of the suspects was shot in the leg.
If not for the immediate and decisive actions taken by Trooper Buneta, Trooper Kohnlein, Trooper Mock, Trooper Noga, and Trooper Schaaf during this pursuit, the potential loss of life and threat to law enforcement and the public were imminent. While exposed to the danger, each of these members acted with deliberate intent and exercised sound judgment to end the pursuit, bringing credit upon themselves and the Colorado State Patrol.
TROOPER JOSEPH MACK
January 28, 2013
On January 28, 2013, at 1255 hours, Trooper Joseph Mack was patrolling eastbound on Colorado Highway 34 at approximately mile marker 203 when he was informed by dispatch of a one vehicle roll over crash on Highway 34 at Washington County Road Q, containing a driver and passenger. Dispatch also informed Trooper Mack that the driver of the rolled vehicle had pulled a gun on a Good Samaritan who had stopped to render aid, carjacking the Samaritan’s vehicle, a red Nissan pickup truck. Trooper Mack turned around and headed west towards the crash scene near Akron, Colorado.
Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies initiated a pursuit of the red pickup, heading eastbound on 34 as Trooper Mack approached the town of Akron. Trooper Mack turned around and joined the pursuit containing four Washington County members, reaching 104 miles per hour (MPH) at mile mark 204, and averaging more than 75 MPH as they passed through the town of Otis. The suspects sped past east bound motorists in the westbound lanes forcing westbound motorists off the road several times. As they were continuing to head east Colorado State Patrol Corporal Larry Gilliland told dispatch he was going to deploy stop sticks from the west bound lane at mile marker 219. As they approached 219 the pickup crossed the center lane to drive straight into Corporal Gilliland, who turned to run behind his vehicle to avoid being hit, and was unable to deploy the stop sticks.
Trooper Mack moved to the lead position of the pursuit as they were heading into Yuma. The pursuit through Yuma reached speeds of 80 MPH. Again the suspects forced oncoming westbound vehicles off the road while passing eastbound traffic. Once out of Yuma Trooper Mack began to position his vehicle in an attempt to perform a Tactical Vehicle Intervention (TVI) on the suspect’s vehicle. The passenger of the stolen vehicle responded with gunfire. Trooper Mack attempted to move up several times and each time the passenger would raise the firearm in Trooper Mack's direction. When Trooper Mack noticed the passenger lean over into the floor board, he took the opportunity to perform the TVI on the driver’s side to induce a counter clockwise spin away from traffic. The TVI was successful, the pickup stopping in the field along the north side of the highway, ending the pursuit.
If not for the decisive actions taken by Trooper Mack during this pursuit, the potential loss of life and threat to law enforcement and the public was imminent. While exposed to danger Trooper Mack exercised sound judgment to end the pursuit, bringing credit upon himself and the Colorado State Patrol, and he is recognized with the Colorado State Patrol Valor Award.
SERGEANT MATTHEW BEAUDIN
August 8, 2014
On August 8, 2014, Sergeant Matthew Beaudin was working on an auto theft task force as an investigator pro-actively patrolling the parking lot of the Ramada Inn Hotel located at 4849 Bannock Street, Denver, looking for stolen vehicles. Sergeant Beaudin was driving his unmarked patrol vehicle which was equipped with the Automatic License Plate Reader System (ALPR). The ALPR was being used to automatically scan the license plates of moving and/or stationary vehicles to compare them with one or more databases to identify license plates and subsequent vehicles or registered owners that may be associated with unlawful activity.
At approximately 1316 hours Sergeant Beaudin noticed a suspicious motorcycle in the Ramada Inn parking lot. The motorcycle had a paper temporary Colorado license plate which is not automatically scanned by the ALPR. Sergeant Beaudin observed the motorcycle’s parking lights were activated, indicating the ignition may have been left in the “on” position. Sergeant Beaudin entered the license plate through CCIC/NCIC on his Mobile Data Computer (MDC) and discovered the temporary license plate was associated with a stolen motorcycle. Sergeant Beaudin confirmed the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the motorcycle matched the one listed as stolen on CCIC/NCIC. Sergeant Beaudin advised the Denver Regional Communications Center of his location, the stolen motorcycle information, and requested a tow to transport the motorcycle.
The Communication Center aired an alert tone and then transmitted the stolen vehicle information, repeating Sergeant Beaudin’s location. Sergeant Beaudin acknowledged the alert information and informed the Communication Center to cancel emergency traffic and further advised he was 10- 4, because the motorcycle was found unattended. Sergeant Beaudin was informed that the tow agency had been dispatched. While Sergeant Beaudin was preparing for the motorcycle to be towed, a male subject walked up and sat on the motorcycle. He began to manipulate the ignition as if he was trying to start the engine. Sergeant Beaudin contacted the subject who disobeyed all verbal commands, got off the motorcycle, and fled on foot. Sergeant Beaudin pursued on foot.
During the foot pursuit, while the subject was running away from Sergeant Beaudin, Sergeant Beaudin deployed his EMDT in subject’s direction. It was an unsuccessful deployment as one of the prongs struck the backpack that was being worn by the subject. After the EMDT deployment, Sergeant Beaudin caught up to the subject and while trying to place him into custody became involved in a physical altercation. The tow operator witnessed the altercation as did a passing motorist, who stopped to assist Sergeant Beaudin. The tow operator contacted his dispatch and informed her Sergeant Beaudin needed officer assistance. The dispatcher from the towing company called the CSP Communication Center requesting assistance for Sergeant Beaudin.
During the altercation, the subject brandished a handgun from his waistband. According to one witness statement, the subject pointed the gun at a citizen who had stopped to assist. Sergeant Beaudin drew his handgun and shot the subject one time. The subject was later pronounced deceased as a result of the gunshot wound. Sergeant Beaudin instructed the motorist who had stopped to call the police. The motorist notified the Denver Police Department by calling 9-1-1 and reported the subject had been shot. Denver Police, Fire, and EMS immediately responded to the scene.
If Sergeant Beaudin failed to act when he did, either he, the motorist who stopped to assist him or both would have been seriously injured or killed. The passing motorist stated he felt his life was threatened when the subject brandished his weapon. On the day of this incident, Sergeant Beaudin displayed an outstanding degree of dedication and devotion above and beyond his professional duty. Sergeant Beaudin’s actions involved a high degree of risk to his life as a member of the Colorado State Patrol.
TROOPER DANIEL FIALLO
January 13, 2014
During the early morning hours of January 13, 2014, Trooper Daniel Fiallo responded to a report of a property damage crash on eastbound I-70 within Adams County. Initial reports stated the driver involved in the crash was attempting to leave the scene, having offered to pay another motorist to help move the vehicle from the scene and not call police. Once Trooper Fiallo, an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy and Commerce City Police Officer arrived on scene, the suspect was identified as an individual seated within a tow truck that had stopped to assist. While the Deputy and Officer approached the tow truck on the driver’s side, Trooper Fiallo remained at the passenger side rear of the truck to monitor traffic. From this location, Trooper Fiallo was able to watch as the suspect exited the passenger side of the tow truck and began to run from the officers within the left lane of the interstate.
All three officers gave chase, ordering the suspect to stop. While running, the suspect pulled out a semi-automatic handgun, pointed at the officers and attempted to fire the weapon, however, the gun did not fire as expected. As the suspect continued to run, crossing over into the westbound lanes of the interstate, the suspect loaded one round into the gun and was able to fire two shots at the pursuing officers.
Despite the immediate danger posed by the gun fire, Trooper Fiallo continued to pursue the suspect along the westbound shoulder. Ultimately, Trooper Fiallo and the Commerce City Officer were able to return fire, striking the suspect in the leg. Officers were able to take the suspect into custody without further incident.
An investigation revealed at the time of the incident, the suspect, a career criminal and previously convicted felon; had a felony warrant for escape. The suspect told investigators he knew he would be going to prison and didn’t want to go without a fight. The suspect also indicated he was initially attempting to shoot a specific officer, who was later determined to be Trooper Fiallo. Trooper Fiallo is to be commended for his bravery and courage, selflessly placing himself in danger to protect others.
TROOPER SHANE GOSNELL
TROOPER EUGENE HOFACKER
May 8, 2014
On May 8, 2014, Troopers Eugene Hofacker and Shane Gosnell were riding together in a marked State Patrol vehicle, en-route to Glenwood Springs to participate in training for the new in-car video systems. Both Troopers were in regular class “A” uniforms as the intent was to pick up Trooper Gosnell’s car after the training and complete the remainder of their shift working the road. Several other members of Troop 4C were also on their way to this training.
At 09:04 am Troopers Hofacker and Gosnell came upon a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of the interstate at milepost 129 and stopped to assist. As Trooper Hofacker exited the car to contact the driver, Trooper Gosnell remained in the vehicle to call out the contact with dispatch. Trooper Hofacker made a passenger side approach and contacted the driver who was seated in the driver’s seat, but leaning across the car. Rather than rolling down the window, the driver leaned over and opened the passenger door. Trooper Gosnell then exited the Patrol car and approached the suspect vehicle. As Trooper Gosnell approached, he heard that the driver was being uncooperative and Trooper Hofacker signaled to him that he believed the driver to be intoxicated.
From the driver’s side door, Trooper Hofacker asked for and obtained the driver’s information. Trooper Gosnell approached Trooper Hofacker, this time taking the documents Trooper Hofacker had been able to obtain from the driver before returning to the Patrol car to run a clearance on the subject. Trooper Hofacker then attempted to get the driver to exit the vehicle and move to the rear of his car with the intent of conducting roadside evaluations. Trooper Gosnell took the driver’s documents and returned to the patrol car. He elected not to get in, but rather chose to run the clearance using his portable radio. He did this at the rear of the Patrol car, but was forced to turn his back to the contact in an effort to shield the collar microphone from the wind noise. As Trooper Gosnell began to contact dispatch, Trooper Hofacker continued to interact with the driver who was making furtive movements with his hands. Trooper Hofacker had become concerned enough that he un-holstered his pistol and had it to his side, out of the driver’s sight. While Trooper Hofacker was ordering the driver to show his hands, the driver turned in the seat so that his hands were hidden and then spun back towards Trooper Hofacker firing what was determined to be a 9mm pistol.
As Trooper Hofacker retreated, the suspect exited the car and followed him, all the time shooting in rapid succession. In total, the driver fired seven times, striking Trooper Hofacker four times, all in areas unprotected by his ballistic vest. One round entered his pelvis area and damaged the femoral artery, this was the most serious of the wounds and was immediately life threating due to blood loss. Two rounds went into his calf, and one of the rounds impacted Trooper Hofacker’s right elbow to the extent he could not raise his weapon that was already in his hand to return fire.
Trooper Hofacker attempted to retreat to the right side of the Patrol car, making it to the area between the two cars before collapsing. He attempted to get up and move fearing he would be shot again, when he heard Trooper Gosnell returning fire and then saw the suspect fall to the ground. He was then able to get to his feet and move to the rear of the Patrol car.
Trooper Gosnell was in the process of talking on the radio when he heard the suspect shooting. He turned and saw the suspect advancing on Trooper Hofacker. Trooper Gosnell, who was at the back of the Patrol car, immediately engaged the suspect. Advancing from a position of cover, he took the fight to the assailant, firing his weapon fourteen times. At 09:08 hours Trooper Gosnell advised dispatch of the shots fired and that an officer was injured. He then approached and subsequently kicked the gun from the suspect’s hand and later, after being directed to do so by Corporal Smart, placed handcuffs on the suspect.
The driver/suspect, who died at the scene, had previously been convicted and served time for second degree murder. At the time of this incident he was out on bond awaiting trial on an attempted second degree murder charge. During the subsequent investigation it was found that he had illegal drugs concealed on his person and in the vehicle. The suspect was also found to be under the influence of both alcohol and drugs at the time of the shooting.
Trooper Hofacker, despite being on the way to a training class, had stopped to check on a motorist in apparent need of assistance. When he determined that the driver might be intoxicated he transitioned to an investigative posture and was trying to control the situation with an uncooperative person when the suspect, without warning, shot him and attempted to take his life. Trooper Hofacker attempted to repel the attack while retreating to a position of cover. Once the shooting was over, he took on a warrior mentality and mentally fought for his own life rather than give up.
Trooper Gosnell performed in a heroic manner. Without a doubt, Trooper Gosnell saved the life of his fellow Trooper. Had he not acted, the suspect would have continued to shoot at Trooper Hofacker. It is also fair to assume the suspect would have then stolen a vehicle from of one of the stopped motorists who witnessed the shooting, or the Patrol vehicle, as the suspect’s own car was disabled.
TROOPER GREGORY JAMES
January 22, 2015
While attempting to stop an erratic and unsafe driver on January 22, 2015, Trooper Gregory James was involved in a pursuit with what turned out to be an unstable and violent subject. After coming to a stop, Trooper James attempted to place the male party into custody but was quickly met with the suspect yelling and failing to obey verbal commands. Eventually, a violent fight for survival occurred with the suspect attempting to disarm and take Trooper James’ firearm. On the ground and fighting for his life, Trooper James was able to fire his weapon; it did not hit the suspect but instead caused a malfunction of the firearm. Trooper James was able to strike the subject and gain distance, fix his weapon, and order the subject down. Quickly, the subject indicated he wanted to be killed, a “suicide by cop,” and again tried to rush and fight Trooper James. In an incredible act of restraint and calm, Trooper James was able to use the appropriate level of force necessary to control the suspect and to take him into custody. For his incredible courage and control in the face of danger, Trooper Gregory James is awarded the Medal of Valor.
MASTER TROOPER DWAYNE MASSNER
TROOPER DEREK POLLARD
June 6, 2015
While responding to a single vehicle rollover crash on I-70 the morning of June 6, 2015, Trooper Dwayne Massner was alerted to and found a male subject walking from the scene with a gun to his own head. Walking into oncoming traffic the subject used that weapon to carjack a vehicle from a passing motorist. While Trooper Massner was catching up to the subject, Trooper Derek Pollard responded to the incident and deployed stop sticks which successfully deflated the right front tire of the stolen vehicle. Trooper Massner followed the subject to the exit ramp and completed a successful T.V.I. (tactical vehicle intervention). The subject rolled the stolen vehicle off the road and down an embankment. Undeterred, the suspect opened fire on Trooper Massner and Trooper Pollard as they approached. Getting to safety, Trooper Massner retrieved his rifle to observe from a secure distance. Despite taking gunfire from the subject, Trooper Massner and Trooper Pollard were able to keep the suspect contained in the immediate area with a single gunshot as other law enforcement arrived. Managing an escape, the suspect again crossed the highway with his firearm, this time being followed by Trooper Pollard in his patrol vehicle. Seeing the suspect was about to attempt another carjacking and fearing for the safety of other motorists, Trooper Pollard rapidly accelerated toward the subject to end the threat while putting himself in jeopardy. It was successful as the subject leapt away and the motorists left the area without harm. Getting the subject contained against a fence but away from a nearby neighborhood, Trooper Massner and Trooper Pollard continued to try and negotiate with the subject for a peaceful resolution. The subject continually refused to cooperate, go so far as pointing his gun at himself and the officers. Ultimately, while ignoring orders and continuing to be a threat, the subject was stopped by a shot from an Arapahoe County Deputy. During an actively evolving and incredibly dynamic situation, Trooper Massner and Trooper Pollard continued to engage a violent suspect, known to be armed and willing to use force. Literally and figuratively placing themselves between a dangerous individual and the public, Troopers Massner and Pollard successfully utilized tactics and coordination to reach a conclusion to an incident which showed they cared more for the safety others than their own. As such, Trooper Dwayne Massner and Trooper Derek Pollard are awarded the Medal of Valor for their heroic actions.