O'Fallon Police Officer Receives Medal of Valor For Stopping Assault of Violent, Naked Man
Officer Thomas Kenyon stopped a violent, out of control man who allegedly assaulted and severely injured a young woman, then attacked him as he arrived on the scene in April.
Police officers put their lives on the line each day as they head out to do their jobs.
Joachimstaler joined by Mayor Bill Hennessy, presented O'Fallon Police Officer Thomas Kenyon with the Medal of Valor at last Thursday's city council meeting.
On April 18, a man called O'Fallon Police at 2:12 a.m. to report his son, who had reportedly taken out a medieval style club with spikes and become violent at his home while on LSD.
Officer Kenyon arrived on the scene within one minute and encountered a naked man who was assaulting a woman, who was attempting to drive away in a mini-van.
"Upon his arrival, Officer Kenyon observed an individual hanging inside the driver's side window of a van, assaulting a female victim," Joachimstaler said.
Kenyon was able to get the suspect to focus his attention on him, and remove himself from the car, which stopped the assault on the woman.
As O'Fallon Patch previously reported, the woman in the van suffered serious head injuries, including facial fractures and was transported to an area hospital where she was admitted for treatment.
After a brief verbal exchange, the suspect charged at Officer Kenyon without any warning, according to Joachimstaler.
Kenyon discharged his Taser, but it had little effect.
"During the altercation that followed, the suspect began to viciously assault Kenyon, striking him on the face and in the head and even biting his face," Joachimstaler said. "The suspect made several attempts to gain control of the Taser holster and Officer Kenyon's pistol."
After several attempts to disarm the Kenyon during the violent struggle, the suspect began to choke Kenyon while punching him in the side of the head.
"PO Kenyon realized he was beginning to lose consciousness, so he took a decisive action, removed his firearm and fired one round, striking the suspect in the forearm." Joachimstaler said.
The shot caused the suspect to stop the assault and back off, but just as Officer Kenyon was gaining his balance, the supsect charged again.
"Kenyon, still recovering from the assault, fired a second round striking the suspect in the leg and permanently stopping the assault," Joachimstaler said. "PO Kenyon displayed tremendous courage and conviction in a life and death situation."
Chief Joachimstaler said he commends Officer Kenyon for the good job he did.
"He's a credit to our profession and to the O'Fallon Police Department and tonight we are honored to present him with the Medal of Valor," he said. "Not only did he save his own life, but his initial quick response, no doubt saved the life of that female victim."
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