Would You Help Make an Arrest?


If you saw someone struggling for their life as you drove by would you get out of your vehicle to help?  What if you saw a sole police officer trying to make an arrest—would you get out and help or drive by?
criminal justice

Globe University-Minneapolis’ Criminal Justice Program Chair, Joe Vanasse, recently had to not only answer these questions, but act on them.  Joe received the Citizen’s Medal of Valor award from the Minneapolis Police Department during an awards program on May 13 for helping


On October 23, 2012, Officer George Peltz and his partner, Officer Ruud, responded to shots fired in the area of 8th Avenue and Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis.  This area was near the location of a homicide that occurred earlier that morning.

When the officers located a group of suspects near 7th Avenue and Thomas Avenue, they stopped to investigate the group.  One of the four suspects immediately started to flee, and Officer Ruud pursued on foot.

Officer Peltz remained with the three suspects.  He ordered them to show their hands. One of the suspects tried to walk away and would not show his hands.  Officer Peltz ordered the suspects at gunpoint to the ground. The one suspect would not listen to commands and started to approach Officer Peltz to distract his attention from the other two suspects.

Officer Peltz went to handcuff and restrict the suspect and he tried to pull away.  During the struggle, the suspect and Officer Peltz went to the ground. Officer Peltz was able to get one handcuff on the suspect’s right hand. 

criminal justiceJOE RISKS HIS LIFE

As Officer Peltz struggled on the ground with the suspect, Joe Vanasse pulled up in his SUV. Joe got out of his vehicle and asked Officer Peltz if he could help.  Office Peltz responded, “Yes, help me get him cuffed and watch the two other suspects.”

Both Officer Peltz and Joe struggled with the suspect, who was fighting to get away and kept protecting his left side with his left hand under his body.  With Joe’s assistance they were able to handcuff the suspect. 

Other officers arrived and secured the two other suspects. As the suspect that Officer Peltz and Joe had struggled with was lifted from the ground, a silver and black handgun fell to the ground under his left waist area under his jacket.


Thanks to his selfless and heroic actions with disregard for his own personal safety, Joe helped arrest an armed and potentially dangerous suspect.

Officer Peltz said, “In my 20 years of law enforcement, I have never encountered a braver and more selfless person than Joe Vanasse.  I believe Joe Vanasse should be recognized for his bravery and willingness to assist law enforcement.” 


Recognition for Joe’s sacrifice was well deserved during the Minneapolis Police Department Awards Program.  Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was present as the Minneapolis Police Chief, Janee Harteau, presented Joe with his award

Learn more about an exciting degree in criminal justice at Globe University downtown Minneapolis here.


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