Commendations & Awards
Deputies Brian Woods and Christopher Gray
On April 16, 2022, Deputies Brian Woods and Christopher Gary responded to a robbery call with shots fired toward the victim. The vehicle had fled the scene and was traveling at a high rate of speed with little description other than a "white SUV with a black license plate cover." The license plate number was given, but the registration was returning to a different vehicle than the one described by the victim. While searching the area for the suspects’ vehicle, Deputy Woods saw a white SUV turn into an apartment complex a few cars ahead of him. He approached the vehicle in the apartment complex parking lot, and two individuals jumped out and darted toward an apartment. Deputy Gary arrived on scene at this time and the two detained both suspects, who were later positively identified by the victim. The item that was taken in the robbery was recovered in the SUV, as well as two handguns, and the spent shell casing from the shot that was fired. It was also discovered that the SUV was a stolen vehicle out of Cuyahoga Falls. Last week, Sheriff Fatheree awarded Deputy Gary and Deputy Woods commendations for their diligence, bravery, and quick actions.
Deputy Chris Bruno
On June 20, 2022, Deputy Bruno was working an extra detail at Wilbeth-Arlington Homes when he and his partner heard a call nearby of an unresponsive female at a residence. He and Special Deputy DiMenna responded to the call. Upon arrival, Deputy Bruno began performing CPR on the female who was unconscious. He performed CPR under very difficult circumstances due to a family member in an extreme panic, until Akron Fire arrived. The female was transported to the hospital conscious and breathing after Akron Fire administered Narcan. Sheriff Fatheree has presented Deputy Bruno with a Life Saving Award for his actions.
Deputies Chase Rose, Robert Bowen, and SWAT Tactical Medic Joe Huntley
On July 8, 2022, Deputies Chase Rose, Bobby Bowen, and Green Tactical Medic Joe Huntley (a member of our SWAT Team) were assigned to a nightshift during the protests in downtown Akron. At approximately 9:15pm, a call of an active shooter at a memorial service unrelated to the protests went out in the City of Akron. Our deputies and medic responded immediately and were the first on the scene. When they arrived to a very chaotic, crowded, emotional scene, Medic Huntley assessed a 4-year-old female who had a gunshot wound. He immediately ran her to an Akron Fire ambulance that was nearby but unable to get close due to the crowd of people. Unfortunately, the girl succumbed to her wounds. Medic Huntley then returned to the scene and provided life-saving measures to a 44-year-old gunshot victim, which ultimately saved his life. Meanwhile, Deputies Rose and Bowen entered a crowd of over 150 people and began searching for the shooter. As other deputies arrived on scene, they were able to assist Akron Police in setting up a perimeter and sectioning off areas to secure the crime scene. The Deputies and Tac-Medic Huntley remained composed, tactically aware, and vigilant during this time. They all received Life Savings Awards from Sheriff Fatheree for their actions.
Detectives James Fields, Nick Bollas, Corey Thompson, Brian Abell, and Nick Gray
During the same July 8, 2022 shooting incident, all five detectives were conducting crowd surveillance at the protests occuring downtown when they received the call of the shooting. They arrived on-scene and tried to secure it as best as they could while getting to the shooting victims. The team continued to secure the scene as first responders worked on the victims. Once victims were removed, the team continued to hold security until enough personnel arrived. This team did not hesitate to head into the chaotic and dangerous situation and ensure that the victims were attended to. They all received Commendations from Sheriff Fatheree for their actions.
Dispatcher Monica Green
On November 6, 2022, Sheriff's Office dispatcher Monica Green took a phone call from a distraught male wanting to commit suicide. The caller was crying, very upset, and holding a gun. Monica was able to talk him into putting the gun away and walk into another room. She then spoke further with the caller, empathizing with him and keeping him calm and on the line until deputies were able to respond in-person. She then talked him into unlocking the doors and allowing the deputies inside. For her calmness, determination, and ability to take control of a tense situation and prevent a tragedy, Sheriff Fatheree has awarded Monica Green the Civilian Excellence Award.
Deputy Elizabeth Hughey
On October 4, 2021, Akron PD called the Jail requesting assistance identifying a female in custody on misdemeanor charges who they believed was misrepresenting her identity. During the intake process, the female was unable to provide any ID and stated that she had never requested an ID from any state. Although Deputy Elizabeth Hughey was not the booking Deputy, she overheard the conversation and informed a Lieutenant that she believed the female may be a victim of human trafficking. Deputy Hughey began communicating with the female, building a rapport and trust, and the female gradually grew more comfortable and began to open up to Deputy Hughey. As a result, she did indeed reveal that she was concealing her true identity because she was currently a victim in a human trafficking ring. Deputy Hughey's care and persistence led to the recovery of this young victim, and ultimately resulted in the arrest of her trafficker. For these acts, Sheriff Fatheree has awarded her a Commendation.
Deputy Chris Klopfenstein
On December 29, 2021, while working in Northfield Center Township, Deputy Klopfenstein received a call of an unresponsive male without a pulse. Before approaching the residence, he retrieved Narcan that was in his vehicle. He checked the resident and noticed that he had labored respiration and administered four doses of Narcan, which seemed to have little to no effect. The resident appeared to not be breathing consistently. Deputy Klopfenstein began CPR at that time. Sgt. Larry Peters arrived on the scene and offered to give him a break and he declined, continuing with CPR until the Macedonia Fire Department took over. The resident was transported to the hospital where he recovered from his apparent overdose. Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputy Klopfenstein with a Life Saving Award.
Deputy Jason Gardner
On December 30, 2021, the Ohio State Patrol initiated a vehicle pursuit in Portage County. The high-speed pursuit led into Summit County, resulting in a fatal crash. Unaware of the pursuit, Deputy Gardner was conducting routine patrols in the city of Akron when he observed smoke in the distance, heard sirens, and responded to the area to locate the source of the smoke. Upon arrival, he observed a crashed vehicle on fire with an OSP trooper performing CPR on the driver. He worked with Akron officers attempting to extinguish the fire. An unconscious female was found trapped inside the burning vehicle with her legs pinned under the dashboard. Unable to open the vehicle’s doors, Deputy Gardner and Akron officers worked to cut her seatbelt, dislodge her legs, and pull her through the passenger window to safety. For these actions, Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputy Gardner with a Life Saving Award.
Deputy Chris Munk
On July 9, 2022, Deputy Munk responded to a call in Coventry Township for an unresponsive male. When he arrived, he found a 58-year-old male laying on the floor of the bathroom unresponsive and not breathing. He performed CPR until paramedics arrived and resuscitated him. Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputy Munk with a Life Saving Award.
Deputies Travis Fennel and Nolan Ritchie
On October 17, 2022, Deputy Nolan Ritchie and Deputy Travis Fennel were working at the Jail when a male inmate fell to the ground unresponsive. Deputies Ritchie and Fennel sprang into action and began administering CPR and summoned more advanced medical personnel to respond. Nursing staff arrived to take over his care, but both Deputies remained and assisted until Akron Fire EMS arrived. The Jail's nurse noted that their immediate response and knowledge of how to handle the situation was uncommon. Although Deputy Ritchie and Deputy Fennel’s actions did not ultimately save the life of the inmate, it certainly gave added time for the arrival of EMS. Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputies Fennel and Ritchie with Life Saving Awards.
Deputies Cindy Wood and Michael Casper
On July 25, 2022, Deputy Cindy Wood noticed a female walking along the fence line adjacent to the Summit County Jail. She and Deputy Michael Casper reviewed video footage of this area and observed that the female had thrown something next to the dumpster at the loading dock. Deputies Wood and Casper searched the area and located a sock that had been put together as a care package for an unknown person. The sock contained 1 pack of cigarettes, 3 Xanax bars, 3 grams of methamphetamine, 3 grams of Fentanyl, and 8 packages of Suboxone. The Deputies advised their superiors about the discovery, and the Summit County Drug Unit was notified. Wood and Casper removed the items from the sock and refilled it with “sham” material and secured the actual contraband for evidence. The sock was placed back by the dumpster and the Trusty Inmate clean-up crew was brought out to dispose of trash. An inmate was observed picking up the sock and placing it into his pants. The inmate was immediately removed from Trusty status and sent back to a regular housing unit. Deputies Wood and Casper’s attention to detail, quick thinking, and dedication to duty stopped a sizable amount of drugs from being brought into the jail. Sheriff Fatheree presented them both with Commendations for their actions.
Deputy John Lombardi
On September 16, 2022, Lakemore Police Department was working at the Springfield High School football game against Coventry. One of the students alerted Lakemore PD that there were two people with a backpack and ski masks which did not look right and asked that they check them out. Lakemore PD attempted to make contact with the two males who were sitting in the bleachers of the Coventry side next to Deputy John Lombardi, while he was having a day off with his family. One of the males reached into the backpack and both Deputy Lombardi and a Lakemore Officer went hands-on with the suspects. Both suspects were placed in handcuffs and a loaded firearm was located in the backpack. While off duty with his family, he assisted in the apprehension of the two individuals at a crowded game which could have had a violent or deadly outcome. Due to Deputy Lombardi’s actions, both males were arrested without further incidents. Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputy Lombardi with an Office Citation for his actions.
Deputies Ramesh Sutar and Jordan Larson
On March 14, 2022, Deputy Ramesh Sutar was conducting a key tour of Unit 2B at the Jail when he observed an inmate with a noose around his neck hanging from the upper bunk while locked in his cell. Deputy Sutar called for other deputies to assist him. Deputy Sutar and Deputy Jordan Larson entered the cell and observed the inmate was not breathing nor had a pulse and was blue. Both Deputies removed the noose from around the inmate’s neck and Deputy Larson began performing CPR, until the inmate regained a pulse and began to breath on his own. Jail medical staff responded and provided assistance until Akron Fire EMS arrived. The inmate was transported to the hospital for further treatment. Had it not been for Deputy Larson and Deputy Sutar’s quick response, the inmate may very well have been successful in his suicide attempt. For these actions and quick thinking, Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputies Sutar and Larson with Life Saving Awards.
Deputy Nolan Ritchie
While conducting a routine round at the Jail, Deputy Ritchie noticed an inmate laying on the floor of his cell. When he entered the inmate’s cell, he noticed that the inmate’s skin was discolored and that he was unresponsive. He called for emergency medical response. He also noticed a large amount of a white powdery substance on the inmate’s desk. Deputy Ritchie pulled the inmate to the dayroom and sealed the cell so that no other staff could be contaminated, and notified medical staff as soon as they arrived to take precautions. Medical staff administered Narcan and oxygen to the inmate until an ambulance arrived. The inmate made a full recovery. Due to Deputy Ritchie's awareness and quick actions, no other staff were contaminated. He then made all the proper notifications and secured the scene for safety and criminal investigation purposes. Sheriff Fatheree presented Deputy Ritchie with a Commendation Award for his actions.
Deputies Christopher Gary and Robert Bowen
On April 4, 2022, the Summit County Drug Unit and ONSET Unit seized a vehicle containing 1.1 million dollars in cash that was thought to be connected to Mexican drug cartel. The suspect was not in the vehicle at the time. The folliwng day, the towing company called the Sheriff's Office to advise him that there were three males attempting to get into the seized vehicle. The tow yard advised the three males that they needed to go to the District 3 Office to sort out the details of their vehicle's seizure. Sgt. DiSabato of the Drug Unit asked Sgt. Peters at the District 3 Office in Green to stall the three males if they showed up. Deputies Gary and Bowen and Sgt. Peters, came up with a plan to detain the males as they arrived. One male showed up on foot and was detained. Deputy Gary and Deputy Bowen were observant enough to see the vehicle the other two males were in and put out the description. he vehicle and the males were located and safely detained without incident. The ONSET Unit was able to gain valuable information from the suspects. For their quick actions in this tense situation, Sheriff Fatheree has awarded Deputies Gary and Bowen a Certificate of Appreciation.
Special Deputy Kirk DeStefano
On July 27, 2022, Special Deputy DeStefano heard shooting outside his residence. He told his family to stay down, as he observed one male on the ground and two males fleeing the scene. He relayed the description of the individuals, vehicle, and direction of travel to Akron Radio, while responding to the victim. He kept the victim talking and did not move him due to unknown injuries, and kept the neighbors away, clearing the scene for responding Akron units. He also made sure the victim kept his hands showing in order to keep himself and the public safe. It was determined the victim had two gunshot wounds, and a firearm was recovered from the victim. Sheriff Fatheree presented Special Deputy DeStefano with a Commendation for his quick actions and for keeping everyone around him safe from what could have been a dangerous situation.
Deputies Corliss Stargen, Frank Sanchez, Ryan Miller
On October 6, 2022, Deputy Corliss Stargen was conducting a tour on Unit 3D at the Jail when he noticed a cell window was covered and stopped to investigate. Upon entering, he observed the inmate laying on the bunk with a bed sheet wrapped tightly around his neck. eputy Stargen alerted central control of a possible suicide. Deputy Frank Sanchez and Deputy Ryan Miller responded. Deputy Sanchez retrieved the 911 tool and Deputy Miller cut and removed the bed sheet from the inmate’s neck. After further investigation, a suicide note was recovered from the cell desk. Deputy Stargen, Deputy Sanchez and Deputy Miller were all presented Life Saving Awards by Sheriff Fatheree.
Deputies Eric Glass, Brandon Fritz, Dupri Whatley, Eric Finn, and Justin Lowe
On July 20, 2022, Deputy Brandon Fritz was working on Unit 2 at the Jail when an inmate tied a sheet onto a railing and proceeded to hang himself. Deputy Lowe came from unit 3 and saw Deputies Eric Glass, Fritz, Dupri Whatley, and Eric Finn trying to untie the inmate, but the inmate was fighting against the attempts to save him. Deputies Glass, Fritz, Whatley and Finn were lifting the inmate up so that he was not choking. They lifted the inmate up with the help of Deputy Lowe and passed him through the railing of the stairwell. The inmate was secured until the sheet could be cut from his neck. Due to the Deputies’ awareness and quick thinking, the inmate survived and made a full recovery. You are all receiving a Life Saving Award today for not hesitating and being instrumental in saving the inmate’s life. You exemplify what it means to be a Deputy with the Summit County Sheriff’ Office.
Deputies Tim Kensinger and Kevin Rollins
On May 24, 2022, Deputy Tim Kensinger and Deputy Rollins were dispatched to Greensburg Cemetery for a suicidal seventeen-year-old male with a knife. The caller advised that the male would stab himself should anyone approach him. The Deputies devised a tactic that involved the use of a non-lethal bean bag gun and, if necessary, a lethal option. Deputy Kensinger and Rollins approached and spoke to the male, and were both able to convince him to drop the knife. Deputy Kensiner stepped on the knife while Deputy Rollins continued speaking to the male. Green Fire EMS were down the road waiting and called to assess the male. They transported the teen to Children’s Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. No one was injured. For their actions, Sheriff Fatheree awarded Deputies Kinsinger and Rollins Certificates of Appreciation.
Deputies Mary Walker, Nathan May, and Robert McCutcheon
On April 17, 2022, Deputy Mary Walker found an inmate unresponsive in the female shower. She realized the inmate was not breathing, rolled her over and started a sternum rub. Deputies Nathan May and Robert McCutcheon responded and started chest compressions. When the Jail's nurse arrived she took over chest compressions and administered three doses of Narcan. The inmate regained consciousness and was transported by squad to Akron City hospital. Due to their quick responses, Deputies Walker, May, and McCutcheon were presented Life Saving Awards by Sheriff Fatheree.
The Summit County Drug Unit
Under the leadership of the Summit County Sheriff's Office, the Summit County Drug Unit is a multi-jurisdictional taskforce consisting of detectives from theSheriff’s Office, Akron Police Department, University of Akron Police Department, Stow Police Department, Silverlake Police Department, Ohio State Patrol, Ohio National Guard, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Ohio Northeast Smuggling Enforcement Team, U.S. Marshall’s Violent Fugitive Taskforce, Homeland Security, and the FBI. The Summit County Drug Unit was named 2022 Task Force of the Year by the state Narcotics Association Regions Coordinating Officers (NARCO) and Ohio Task Force Commanders Association (OTFCA).