Ashland Sheriff's Office Banquet Honors Outstanding Officers

  • 3/15/2019 6:30:28 PM
  • Joe Lyons
  • Local News

ASHLAND, OH - The Ashland County Sheriff's Office held its awards banquet Friday afternoon.

Many of the brave men and women of the ACSO were recognized, with a few special designations handed out to accompany the usual awards.

Award winners this year are as follows:

  • Communications Officer of the Year: Olivia R. Starkey
  • Corrections Officer of the Year: Joshua Early
  • Employee of the Year: Shannon Mahoney
  • Deputy of the Year: Curtis Hall
  • Supervisor of the Year: Randy Wood

In addition to those awards, the Buckeye State Sheriffs' Association Lifesaving Award was present to Chief Deputy Carl Richert II and Lieutenant Randy Wood. The encounter that led to that award took place in August of last year.

On August 23rd, 2018, at 11:22 am, Sergeant Randy Wood was doing traffic control on State Route 89 just north of Township Road 1275.

Sergeant Wood observed a red Chevy S10 driving on the closed roadway. He followed the vehicle until it stopped in the middle of the roadway. The driver, who identified himself as Robert Barber, advised that he did not have his license with him, prompting Sergeant Wood to obtain his social security number and return to his cruiser to check the information. At that time Sergeant Wood noticed the driver beginning to pull away.

After trying unsuccessfully to order the suspect to stop, Sergeant Wood began to pursue. As they approached Township Rd 593, Chief Deputy Richert was waiting and pulled his cruiser partially onto 250 to attempt to stop the suspect vehicle. Sergeant Wood and Chief Richert were able to surround the suspect vehicle and get it to stop.

When Sergeant Wood exited the vehicle, Chief Richert had already drawn his gun and was giving orders to the suspect. As Sergeant Wood made his way to the suspect vehicle, he observed the suspect with a gun in his mouth. He immediately yelled “gun."

As he made his way to cover, Sergeant Wood observed that the slide on the suspects’ gun was not forward and could not be fired at that point. Sergeant Wood then opened the door and activated his Taser. He then grabbed the gun out of the suspect’s hands and tossed it into the roadway, saving the mans life. 

Another special award given Friday was the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association Office Citation. That honor was awarded to Lieutenant Don Sims, Deputy Josh Duewel, Deputy Mike Freelon, Deputy Rick Kinter, and Deputy Shaun Taylor. The event that earned their award took place in December of 2018.

On December 20, 2018, at 9:07 PM, dispatch received a call from the Highway Patrol that they were in pursuit with two escapees from Lewis County Kentucky and that assistance was needed at the 186-mile marker on I-71.

The two inmates were on the run from Lewis County where they were serving time on burglary charges. The pursuit had started in Franklin County and they pursued the suspect vehicle through several counties before entering Ashland County. Lieutenant Sims and Deputies Duewel, Taylor, Freelon & Kinter responded to the area to deploy some road spikes in an attempt to stop the suspect vehicle. A few minutes later, a radio call came out to all units that the Highway Patrol was able to successfully spike the tires a mile south of the 186-mile marker.

Upon arrival, they were advised that the suspects had fled into the wooded area. After being advised that the Franklin County deputy was alone in his search, Deputy Duewel immediately entered the woods to assist. Deputy Taylor remained with troopers to assist at the vehicle where a female accomplice had been taken into custody.

Lt. Sims coordinated efforts during the search and ordered K-9 handlers Freelon and Kinter to attempt to track the suspects in the wooded area while he and Franklin County deputies maintained the perimeter. During the K-9 search, escapee Paul Napier walked out of the woods and surrendered to Lt. Sims.

After the initial search with Deputy Freelon’s K-9, it was determined that they would need to track from a different location. Lt. Sims and K-9 4 from Franklin County entered the woods and tracked back toward the vehicle on I-71. They searched the wooded area until they met up with Deputy Duewel and a second K-9 handler from Franklin County.

During this time the four deputies continued searching until Deputy Duewel spotted the remaining suspect hiding in a creek bed. Deputy Duewel held the suspect at gunpoint until Lt. Sims arrived to handcuff him. Deputies then walked escapee Brandon Long out to the cruisers where Long and Napier were released to Franklin County for extradition to Kentucky.

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