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Officers Honored for Heroic Actions in Newport

Newport is a small city but it's police officers often find themselves facing big city situations.

At a recent city commission meeting, the police department recognized seven officers for their heroic actions in three separate incidents.

The city recognized Officer Keither Pfefferman for his efforts to save a carriage driver whose carriage was struck by a vehicle on the Taylor Southgate Bridge in June 2014. The collision caused the carriage driver to be ejected over the bridge’s wall to a beam on the superstructure of the bridge.

Risking his own life, Pfefferman rescued the woman who was perilously perched on thin beam more than 100 feet above the Ohio River. Pfefferman heroically pulled the woman from the beam to the bridge deck, where she could be treated for her serious injuries.

The city also recognized School Resource Officer Scott Wiggins for his quick action in apprehending two robbers who hit a pawn ship on Sept. 7. Wiggins was working in the Newport High School cafeteria when he heard a dispatcher report that a robbery had just occurred on Monmouth Street.

Wiggins immediately went to his cruiser, and while driving on Sixth Street, he observed a vehicle fitting the description of the getaway car. He followed the vehicle through Newport’s East Row neighborhood before the driver crashed it in Indiana Alley.

The two occupants of the vehicle then exited the vehicle and began running away from the officer. Wiggins tackled one of the suspects in the alley and took him into custody. Following a blood trail and with the assistance of a K-9 tracking dog, Wiggins then found the second suspect hiding in a garbage can in the side yard of a residence on Maple Street.

The city’s third recognition was for five officers who were involved in rescuing a woman who was contemplating suicide on the Taylor Southgate Bridge on Aug. 25. Officers Chris Armstrong, Matt Boshers, Ian Eads, T.J. Shelby and Chris White responded to bridge after a report that a suidical woman there.

While the officers were having a critical discussion with the woman to keep her from jumping into the Ohio River, fireworks from a nearby Reds game caused her to fall from the bridge. Acting with incredible speed, strength, and teamwork, these officers were able to catch the woman before she fell into the river and bring her back to safety. She was very grateful to the officers for saving her life.

“The heroic and courageous actions of these officers in these three incidents exemplify the professionalism that is found in our police department,” said Newport Chief of Police Thomas Collins.

“None of us do this work to receive medals or honors, but there are occasions when police officers who go beyond the call of duty and they should be recognized. That’s what this recognition is all about.”

-Staff report

Photo by RCN