Local MSP troopers honored for bravery

NILES Two state troopers from the Michiana area earned a special honor from the Michigan State Police.

The following is a prepared statement from MSP.

At a special ceremony held in Lansing, Michigan State Police (MSP) Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue presented Tpr. DuWayne Robinson and Tpr. Stephen Vrablic of the Niles Post with the MSP Bravery Award for their diligence and perseverance under uncommon circumstances and for going beyond what is typically expected of most law enforcement officers.

On Nov. 24, 2012, Robinson and Vrablic were dispatched to investigate a domestic disturbance in which it was reported the suspect had assaulted his estranged wife and threatened to kill her. The suspect, who was armed with a rifle, was holding his estranged wife, their two children and a female friend hostage inside the residence.

While positioned outside, the troopers noticed the suspect had separated himself from the rifle and the children. They decided to use this opportunity to attempt verbal contact with the suspect. Robinson maintained visual sight of the suspect through the window while Vrablic moved to the front door. When the suspect opened the door, Trooper Vrablic grabbed him in an effort to remove him from the house. A fight ensued during which time the troopers utilized a Taser to bring the suspect into compliance and take him into custody.

In presenting Robinson and Vrablic with the MSP Bravery Award, the department recognized their selfless decision to place themselves in harm's way to protect the lives of others was an act of bravery and necessary to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.

Robinson enlisted with the department in 1998, graduating as a member of the 116th Trooper Recruit School. Prior to serving at the Niles Post, Robinson was assigned to the Bridgman Post.

Vrablic enlisted with the department in 1997, graduating as a member of the 115th Trooper Recruit School. Prior to serving at the Niles Post, Vrablic was assigned to the Bridgman, Detroit, and Reed City posts.

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