Sunnyside trooper one of two to receive awards

Washington Stae Patrol Trooper Robert Morris of Sunnyside will be one of two troopers to receive the patrol's Award of Merit Friday, Nov. 4, at a ceremony in Olympia.

Morris and Trooper Trent Clasen of Yakima will receive their awards from WSP Chief John Batiste.

Morris's award comes in recognition for his actions which resulted in saving an individual attempting suicide.

On Aug., 27, 2005, Morris, responding to a report of a pedestrian on the Exit 50 overpass near Zillah, found an emotionally distraught man straddling the overpass railing, one leg on the overpass, the other dangling over the interstate below.

Morris engaged the man in conversation until he saw an opportunity to lunge for, grab and pull the man safely off the railing.

About a month later, the man Trooper Morris saved went to the WSP office to personally thank him for saving his life.

Morris's award cites him for "his selfless actions leading to the rescue of an emotionally distraught man, thereby likely saving the man's life".

Trooper Classen is being recognized for his intervention in an armed robbery on April 29, 2005.

While off duty, Clasen came upon an altercation between two men outside the Wiley City market. As he approached, he recognized one of the men as the market's owner. Without hesitation, Trooper Clasen intervened by grabbing the attacking suspect and pulling him off the victim.

As the suspect continued to struggle and resist, Clasen placed himself behind the suspect, successfully restraining him until more help arrived.

The Award of Merit is being presented to Clasen "in recognition of his willingness to selflessly intervene in this dangerous situation, thereby saving an individual from serious injury and effecting the arrest of a violent felon".


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