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County heroes receive recognition

Monday, May. 19 | By Julie Taylor
Photo by Alisa Booze Trotschel, One Boat Media
Det. Brian Kie, Cpt. George Southard, and Chief Lou Battle of the Warrenton Police Department were among those who gathered for the ceremony.
What does a hero look like?

On April 24, the best of Fauquier were assembled in one room as the Fauquier Springs Country Club hosted the third annual Valor Awards. Jeff Goldberg, the Virginia bureau of chief for ABC 7/WJLA-TV and News Channel 8 and winner of two Emmys, came out to preside over the events.

"It is always a pleasure to come out to Fauquier County and Warrenton," Goldberg said.

Prayer opened the evening, followed by a moment of silence for Roland Tapscott, a World War II hero who died Jan. 7, at the age of 91. Present at the ceremony were Del. Michael Webert and his wife, and many board and town council members, including Warrenton Mayor George Fitch.

Here are the men and women honored, and a summary of how they displayed valor:

--Det. John "Strick" Payne of the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office was awarded for his persistence and determination in resolving the case last spring where a stalker began harassing a woman.
The stalker disturbed the woman on multiple occasions, but the situation became much worse when he created a sexual encounter ad on Craigslist, listing the woman's home address. For two months, the postings appeared, and the sheriff's office was called out to the home 23 times. Six people were arrested for trespassing, two of them were convicted sex offenders. On March 20, 2013, the suspect was arrested then plead guilty to computer trespass. He is now serving five years in prison—which is four times the recommended length.

--Det. Sgt. Michael Zeets of the sheriff's office investigated and supervised the investigation of a double murder in The Plains which happened Feb. 24, 2013. Zeets discovered that a registered owner of a suspicious vehicle was seen in the area. He focused on that person and on Feb. 27, 2013, the suspect was found in Fredericksburg. The man is serving two life terms plus 165 years without possibility of parole.

--Det. Brandon Lillard, of the sheriff's office, investigated a bank robbery on June 13, 2013. He followed leads and eventually identified a person as the prime suspect.

--Det. Robert Tarr, of the sheriff's office, investigated the string of burglaries that happened in northern Fauquier from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013.mmThe suspect was spotted in Richmond, and was arrested on Tarr's warrant.

--Master Dep. Steven McCormack, of the sheriff's office, was on patrol when he heard an active call go out over the radio. McCormack, along with two deputies, chased a driver who had crack cocaine paraphernalia. McCormack was only able to stop the man by placing his police cruiser in the path of the suspect. Though he suffered serious injuries, McCormack returned to work just a few days later.

--Chavelle Hutchins, emergency communications specialist II of the sheriff's office, aided in saving a patient's life. On Feb. 27, a caller contacted the 9-1-1 dispatch center, reporting that her father was not responsive. Hutchins was able to walk the daughter through the steps of cardio-pulminary resuscitation, and the dad was revived before medics arrived.

--Det. Brian Kie of the Warrenton Police Department was able to help an elderly victim after she was robbed. Kie identified and swiftly arrested a man who is currently awaiting tiral.

--The following individuals were recognized by the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company for their exemplary service:

Tower 1: Captain James Campbell, Master Technician Jeremy Pope, FF Pete Hunter, & FF Armando Arroyo

Engine 1: Captain Steve McFarland, Technician Will Eicher, FF Chris Sager, FF Andrew Stevic, FF Adam Dunaway, & EMT Leah Ballenger

Rescue Squad 1: Captain Jason Koglin, Master Technician Dale Koglin, & Technician Wade Kastorff

These men and women performed two swift water rescues on July 12, 2013. The first one happened in the middle of the road, the car surrounded by 100 feet of swift water. The crews were able to save the two people in the vehicle. Soon after, an incident occurred on Meetze Road, but those victims were also brought to safety.



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