Two Racine residents received Citizen Public Service Awards from the Racine Police and Fire Commission on Tuesday. The award winners were:
Ben, 17, is a junior at Horlick High School and a lifeguard at North Beach. On Aug. 17, 2007, he was off duty when a man went under water about 75 yards off shore. After two police officers pulled the victim to shore, Ben used his life-guard training to give CPR to the man. Sgt. William Macemon, of the police department, said Ben earned the public service award because it is rare for a citizen to jump into a rescue situation and try to help. Though the victim died, Ben did everything he could to help him, Macemon said.
Mr. Scharding is the owner of Feiner Plumbing in the 600 block of Sixth Street. On Dec. 8, 2007, Autumn Ford was shot and killed near Scharding's store. After the shooting, Mr. Scharding reviewed a security camera in his store and realized he had footage of the incident. He contacted investigators, who used the footage to identify and arrest Darius Monroe for the crime. He has been charged with Ford's murder, and four additional felonies. Macemon noted that investigators did not even know the video existed before Mr. Scharding came forward. Police Chief Kurt Wahlen added that investigators had few leads in the case before obtaining the video, which showed a suspect wearing a bright orange hat. When police called Monroe in for an interview, he was wearing the same orange hat as the man on the video, Wahlen said.