07 August 2009

1st Brigade NCO aids local police

Via Fort Drum Mountaineer

Officer Larry Jobson, a part-time police officer for the villages of Brownville, Glen Park and Dexter, thanks Staff Sgt. Peter Conklin, an infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, for his help in apprehending a suspect who attempted to flee after a routine traffic stop in Brownville. Conklin received recognition from village and Jefferson County officials, as well as his command for his actions. Photo by Staff Sgt. John Queen

Village of Brownville officials honored a 10th Mountain Division (LI) noncommissioned officer July 16 for his quick actions in assisting law enforcement officials when a routine traffic stop went awry and a suspect tried to escape.
Staff Sgt. Peter Conklin, an infantryman assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team’s 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, was presented a letter of appreciation by the mayor on behalf of the village board and a certificate of recognition from the Jefferson County Board of Legislators.
In addition, Conklin was awarded the Army Commendation Medal by the command of 2-22 Infantry.
The incident happened last May while Conklin and his wife Shanan were driving home after work. Officer Larry Jobson, a part-time police officer for the villages of Brownville, Glen Park and Dexter, had stopped a motorist on Pike Street in Brownville for a minor traffic violation.
While conducting a standard background check, Jobson heard over his radio that the motorist had a suspended license. Jobson then attempted to take the individual into custody.
According to Jobson, the suspect became argumentative and began fighting with him.
“I was able to back off and call for assistance,” Jobson recalled.
As the scene was unfolding, Conklin was turning onto Pike Street.
“When I looked down street, I saw Officer Jobson was having an altercation with a young man (who) was being belligerent – yelling, screaming, pushing him, shoving him,” Conklin explained.
After they had driven past Jobson and the suspect, Conklin told his wife he was going to stop and give the officer a hand.
By the time Conklin was able to turn around and head back, another officer from a nearby village had arrived to assist Jobson.
As he drove past a second time, Conklin saw the two officers with the suspect and everything appeared to be under control.
“Both officers had him on the hood of the car, and the guy had his arms up over the hood,” he said.
Thinking the situation was in hand, Conklin again turned his vehicle around to head home. As he completed the turn, however, the suspect was able to knock both police officers off their feet and was running in Conklin’s direction.
“When we turned around, the guy threw an elbow back into Officer Jobson, sending him to the ground, and then shoved the other officer away and took off running (toward) our vehicle,” Conklin said.
Conklin stopped his car, got out and confronted the suspect. “I said, ‘hey, just stop. You’re caught. You’re not going anywhere.’”
The suspect yelled “get out of my way G.I. Joe” and began shouting obscenities at Conklin and physically threatening him.
“I don’t think so,” the infantryman shot back.
“He tried to throw a blow at me,” Conklin said. “I got behind him and put him in an ‘arm bar’ and held him until the police got there.”
“He was able to hold on to him and maintain control of him until the other officer and I were able to join him,” Jobson added. “The three of us were able to take him down and take him into custody.”
What the fleeing suspect did not know is Conklin has trained for more than 30 years in the martial arts. “I have a couple of different black belts, and I carry myself a little differently,” he said.
Jobson, who retired a year and a half ago after serving more than 26 years as an undersheriff, explained that people normally stand by and watch when an incident like this happens.
“Very rarely do you see someone jump in and help out,” Jobson said. “In this case, he jumped into action. He was a great help to the community.”
“I can still remember when I got up,” Jobson said. “I was thinking to myself ‘there is no way I’m going to catch him, and we’re going to have to do a search.’”
“When I saw Conklin coming across the street, a smile came across my face and I thought maybe this isn’t over yet,” he added. “It turned ugly in a hurry, and thanks to him, it ended quickly.”
He explained that the tri-village area is usually quiet and peaceful.
“Most people in this community do not resist us,” he said. “They don’t cause any problems. This was a strange situation.”
“I don’t think what I did was all that special or anything like that,” Conklin said humbly. “That’s just the kind of person I am.”
After serving 23 years in the Army, Conklin is preparing to retire. He plans to settle down in Brownville.

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