Four Colorado State Patrol officers were honored today by the Citizens Appreciate State Troopers (C.A.S.T.) Organization during ceremonies held at the Colorado Governor’s Mansion for their outstanding service to the community.
C.A.S.T. awards were presented to Master Trooper James Boccaccio, Buena Vista; Trooper James Proctor, Durango; and to Lt. Colonel Brenda Leffler and Major Steve Garcia of CSP Headquarters, for outstanding heroism and life-saving efforts.
“It is our privilege to acknowledge, commend and congratulate Colorado State Troopers for on or off duty endeavors of an exceptional, compassionate, magnanimous nature involving their personal commitment,” said C.A.S.T. Director Stephen Straight. “These are selfless, human acts which invoke a strong, positive feeling for the Trooper by the public.”
The award includes a framed citation and a special pin that is approved for wearing on their uniform. Copies of the citations are below.
MASTER TROOPER JAMES BOCCACCIO
On July 13, 2012, Master Trooper James Boccaccio of the Buena Vista Post was
returning home at 10:35 pm. after assisting another trooper covering an injury crash in Park County. Less than six hours later, on July 14th, Boccaccio was
called from his residence to a pursuit initiated by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office of a suspect who had brandished a weapon and thrown a grenade from his vehicle,
Listening as the pursuit proceeded southbound into Chaffee County, Boccaccio caught the pursuit just as it reached Saguache County, notifying dispatch that he would be performing a tactical vehicle intervention on the fleeing car. Boccaccio –while pursuing, also was keeping law enforcement officers from multiple law enforcement agencies calmly informed of the situation. He performed the tactical stop expertly on the fleeing suspect. The driver then aimed his weapon at Boccaccio. The driver was shot and killed.
The weapon which was recovered turned out to be a pellet gun, and the grenade thrown out of the car an inert replica. The Colorado State Patrol has since used this incident as a training situation for not only his perfect tactical stopping technique, but for his professionalism during a highly volatile situation.
TROOPER JAMES PROCTOR
On November 27, 2008 at approximately 7:10 pm, a driver was stopped by the Fraser/Winter Park Police Department along Highway 40. The driver was suicidal and armed with a .45 caliber handgun, refusing to surrender.
The suspect’s vehicle was parked in the middle of the eastbound lanes surrounded by officer’s vehicles. Trooper James Proctor responded to the scene at 7:32 pm. For approximately three hours officers tried negotiating with the driver. Apologizing in advance, the driver kept saying he was going to kill himself while everyone watched, or commit “suicide by cop,” but that officers would get over it. Many times he was requested to drop the handgun in the backseat or to put it on the ground outside the vehicle, but he refused to comply.
During the course of the negotiations it was learned the suspect was an experienced and competitive shooter, carrying a Colt “Combat Elite” .45. He also was drinking during the standoff, making the situation more difficult to control as he would be calm and polite to threatening with his speech and body language. The suspect would get in and out of his vehicle, still carrying the weapon by the barrel.
When the suspect got out of his vehicle once again at approximately 10:15 pm, a signal was given and a Grand County deputy fired a bean bag at the suspect, striking him in the abdomen. Falling to his hands and knees, Trooper Proctor ran toward him. The suspect fired his weapon at least four times, fortunately not hitting any of the responding officers. During the struggle Trooper Proctor took the firearm out of the suspect’s hand and the officers placed the suspect into custody. The suspect was later found guilty of numerous counts against him receiving 32 years in prison.
Lieutenant Colonel Brenda Leffler and Major Steve Garcia
On April 24, 2012 Lieutenant Colonel Brenda Leffler and Major Steve Garcia, while en-route to Atlanta on a Delta Flight, noticed another passenger, Mr. Kevin Magee, experiencing signs of cardiac arrest. Magee was seated behind Lt. Colonel Leffler, complained of chest pains and was losing consciousness. Immediately, Leffler prepared to perform chest compressions while Mary Magee, Magee’s wife and a nurse, performed rescue breathing on him and flight attendant retrieved an automated external defibrillator. At this point, Magee had collapsed, was unresponsive and had no pulse. Leffler and Major Garcia applied the AED and eventually Magee stabilized and regained consciousness.
Once the plane landed Mr. and Mrs. Magee were swiftly met at the gate by paramedics and taken to a local hospital. While there, it was determined that Magee suffered a massive heart attack and that his main coronary blood vessel to the ventricle was 100% obstructed. Doctors were able to clear the vessel.
In her thank you letter, Mrs. Magee stated, “Quite frankly, I’m not sure how my husband made it to the hospital in time, except for the first responders, and ‘Divine Providence’. Everyone did their jobs that day in a near perfect sequence of events.”
The Colorado State Patrol is pleased to recognize Lieutenant Colonel Leffler and Major Garcia for their combined efforts which saved the life of Mr. Kevin Magee.