Police officers honored for their bravery Pair rescued trooper on I-95

December 09, 1992|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

Christmas has come early for two county law enforcers, who Santa Claus would surely agree were good this year.

Howard County police officer Bruce Lohr, 36, and Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Rodney Stem, 41, were recognized by law enforcement agencies and politicians yesterday for saving state Trooper John E. Appleby on Oct. 28. The officers spotted the trooper on the ground on Interstate 95 in Harford County as two men tried to take his gun.

They came upon the incident that afternoon while returning from a hate-bias seminar in Delaware. State police said the officers got out of their vehicle, yelled "police," and drew their guns. The men surrendered.

Trooper Appleby, 25, a top officer in drug interdiction on I-95, had stopped the two men in a pickup truck for a traffic violation before the attack, state police said.

They were charged with attempted murder, assault with intent to murder, and smuggling 104 grams of heroin, state police said.

Yesterday, County Executive Charles I. Ecker gave Mr. Lohr and Mr. Stem a proclamation praising their bravery, work and dedication.

"Quality policing is more than a uniform, badge and gun. It is a way of . . . dedication to protecting the lives and property of our citizens," Mr. Ecker said.

The pair also received proclamations or resolutions from the County Council and the state Senate and House of Delegates. About 50 people attending yesterday's ceremony gave the officers a standing ovation.

County Police Chief James N. Robey told Mr. Lohr, a 14-year veteran of the force, that he would soon get his wish to meet Art Donovan, the former Baltimore Colts great.

The officers, meanwhile, told those gathered that they weren't heroes. "Trooper Appleby is the hero," said Mr. Stem. "He does this day in and day out."

But in an interview, Trooper Appleby said: "They say they're not heroes. They are in my eyes and my wife's eyes and my family's eyes.

"I know in my mind if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here today."

On Nov. 16, the governor gave the two officers citations for rescuing Trooper Appleby. "The governor uses the award and citations to call attention to people who have gone the extra mile," said Page Boinest, a spokeswoman.

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