*Willmar PD Citizen Recognition Awards*
On 09/13/17, a woman was leaving a church service when she was approached by an intoxicated male in SE Willmar. The male began touching her inappropriately. The woman yelled for help and pulled out her cellphone to call police. The suspect then took her phone, struck her (without causing injury) and ran away.
Upon hearing the woman call out in distress, several citizens called 911 and offered aid. Two young men, age 13 & 14, saw the suspect fleeing the area and ran after him. When the suspect stopped running they talked to him, calmed him down and convinced him to give up the woman's phone. The suspect ran off again, but the young men and other bystanders helped provide information and identified him when he was located by police trying to break into a car near the area. The suspect, a 35 year old male from Willmar, was arrested. Charges include simple robbery, disorderly conduct, motor vehicle tampering and interference with a 911 call.
Both young men in this case responded quickly and selflessly to another citizen in need and were able to retrieve the cellphone without a physical confrontation. Both were instrumental in the identification and apprehension of the suspect.
Both young men were presented with a Willmar PD Citizen Recognition Award Coin on 09/26/17. We are proud of you and your service to the community!