Reserve officer being recognized for intervening in stabbing
By Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs
/ Published April 20, 2016
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- City officials in Newport News, Virginia, are planning to formally recognize an Air Force reservist who intervened in a dispute that resulted in the stabbing of a local woman.
Capt. Erick of the 718th Intelligence Squadron at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, was on his way home after a unit training assembly on April 12, 2015, when he saw a man and woman running through traffic. (NOTE: Due to security concerns, Citizen Airmen who are directly involved in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions are only identified by rank and first name.) Erick said he noticed that the female appeared to be in distress.
“When I could see her face, I saw pain and terror in her expression,” he said.
The man, later identified as Michael Andre Warren, grabbed the woman and began punching her head and face.
Upon seeing the assault occurring in the middle of the street, Erick immediately stopped his car, got out and started running toward the two.
“As I closed in on the two individuals, they reached the sidewalk and fell together on the ground,” Erick wrote in a memorandum that provided details of the incident. When he got within 15 to 20 feet, “the male jumped back up and began to run. I chased after him. While fleeing, the male began removing the shirt he was wearing. In the last 15 feet of the chase, the male attacker fell on the ground from running, and four other males came running from behind me to help catch and secure him.”
Erick said while the four men held the attacker down, he ran back to help the female. When he arrived at her side, two other women had stopped to provide help. When they tried to stand the woman up, the victim fell to the ground. They saw that she was bleeding and realized she had been stabbed in the lower back area. Erick then called 911 to request police assistance and an ambulance. The victim was later transported to a local hospital where she received treatment for life-threatening injuries.
Erick stayed behind and identified the man who police had arrested as the person who attacked the female. He later learned that the man attempted to use the shirt that he removed to dispose of a switchblade knife.
The attacker was later convicted and is now serving a 20-year prison sentence.
In recognition of his actions, Newport News city officials are planning to present Erick with the Newport News Police Department’s Citizen Service Award May 5. And they aren’t the only ones wanting to honor Erick for his efforts. His unit has submitted an application to award him the Air Force Commendation Medal.
"I couldn't be prouder for Captain Erick,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Redden, 718th IS commander. “His selfless dedication to a lady in distress demonstrated what it truly means to be a Citizen Airman. By putting his health and well-being on the line, he ultimately saved this woman's life, and his actions proved that there are good and courageous officers serving in the Air Force Reserve.
“From day one, he has been a mainstay of my officer corps and was also recognized at the Air Force level as the 2015 Reserve Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Company Grade Officer of the Year. I can't wait to see what he does next. 718th ... eyes in the sky!"
Erick is still a member of the Air Force Reserve. His unit, the 718th IS, is part of the 655th ISR Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
The group is responsible for ensuring the training and readiness its subordinate squadrons, which are engaged in diverse and complex ISR missions, including human intelligence, signals intelligence, geospatial and measurement intelligence, targeting, distributed common ground system, and ISR support to special operations forces and airborne linguists.