National organization honors 4 Harford deputies

November 02, 2003|By Amanda Angel | Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

Four Harford County sheriff's deputies have been honored with the National Sheriffs' Association Valor Award for their roles in a 2002 hostage rescue effort.

On Feb. 4 last year, Sgt. Joe Mina, Cpl. Ed Keplin, Deputy 1st Class David Datsko and Cpl. Kevin Shrader assisted in attempting to rescue a Bel Air woman who had been shot by her estranged husband as she was chased outside their house.

Edward Hopkins, Harford Sheriff's spokesman, said that the award honors the policemen's willingness to risk their lives in a hostage situation.

The deputies went to the 600 block of Camelot Drive to investigate a domestic dispute and reported shooting, Hopkins said. He said that 6-year-old twin boys had fled from the home to a neighbor's residence to call the police.

Upon arrival, Mina and Shrader devised a plan to remove the victim, Gayle Hayes, from the driveway where she lay. Datsko drove his police car up the driveway to provide cover for Mina, Shrader and Keplin as they carried Hayes to a police car and waiting paramedics. Hayes died of her wounds at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

The deputies spent more than five hours trying to contact Denvil L. Hayes Jr., Gayle Hayes' husband, whom she had invited to her home that evening although she had a restraining order against him.

When police entered the home, they found Denvil Hayes dead in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest. Authorities ruled the death a suicide. Hopkins said Sheriff R. Thomas Golding presented the deputies with their awards at a recent ceremony.

Aberdeen police honored

The Aberdeen Police Department was honored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police on Oct. 24 for its community policing efforts. Aberdeen was one of 10 departments to be named finalists for the 2003 Community Policing Award, and the only department from Maryland.

Aberdeen police Chief R.M. Rudy presented the medallion received during the awards presentation to Mayor Douglas S. Wilson and the City Council on Monday.

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