The Indiana State Police had the awards ceremony Jan. 23 to honor and recognize 19 troopers from around the state.
Superintendent Whitsell presented the awards to each of the officers, including Putnamville's Senior Trooper James Hayes, First Sergeant Steve Hibler, Senior Trooper Tim Cummins, Master Trooper Bill Lux and Senior Trooper Angela Hahn.
Hibler received a Special Recognition Award for coordinating responding units which located and stopped a suspect that had abducted his estranged girlfriend and four juvenile children in Newark, Del. Captain John Potts, the then Acting Chief of the Newark, Del. Police Department wrote, "Given the facts we had at the time of this event, we strongly believe the steps taken by your agency prevented a potential tragedy."
Cummins, Lux and Hahn received the Combat Action Award. To earn this award, the recipient must have performed in an intelligent, courageous, responsible manner involving self-sacrifice while at risk that involved elevated circumstances of danger to the officer.
As a deputy sheriff and Lux were inside the trailer attempting to get control of the child, the suspect became agitated threatened the deputy while trying to draw the holstered handgun. Lux tried to keep the suspect's weapon in the holster and used defensive tactics in an effort to gain control of the weapon.
During the struggle both Lux and the suspect ended up outside of the trailer and continued struggling on the ground. Cummins could not fire his weapon due to Lux and the suspect being entangled with each other, but was able to strike the suspect's head which allowed Lux to gain control of the suspect's pistol.
On March 31, 1999, Hahn and Warren County Deputy Randy Griswold left the Warren County jail together in Hahn's police vehicle to respond to a call of shots being fired at a home near Perrysville. While responding to the call they spotted a vehicle matching the description of the suspect wanted for shooting at the home. Hahn attempted to stop the car, but the driver refused to stop and he was pursued until he pulled into a residence and stopped. The suspect refused to comply with verbal directions as Hahn and Deputy Griswold tried to conduct a felony traffic stop. The suspect reached for something from the passenger side and exited the car. Hahn saw the suspect had a silver handgun as he fired a shot at her.
Hahn and Deputy Griswold returned fire and struck the suspect. He survived his wounds and was later convicted of three counts of aggravated battery stemming from this incident and the earlier reported shooting incident at the Perrysville residence.