Boyd is presented Heroism Award

Published 8:10 pm Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Community Editor

ALE Special Agent Adam Boyd, a Beaufort County native, was deemed a hero when he was presented the N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety’s Heroism Award last week for saving the life of a suicidal man.
The Heroism Award, the department’s highest award for bravery, is given only to those who have risked their own lives to save others, according to a department news release.
“If it had not been for Special Agent Boyd’s life-saving actions and dedication to duty, this man would not have survived this incident,” DCCPS Secretary Reuben Young said.
Boyd, who works out of the Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement’s District I office in Elizabeth City and is a former deputy with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, said he was surprised to get the honor.
“I had no idea,” he said. “My supervisor put me in for it.”
Boyd was quick to give credit to the other law-enforcement officers and agents involved in the incident, including Sgt. William A. Crane and troopers J.R. Gerard, Michael S. Potter and Blake M. Riggs with N.C. Highway Patrol, and volunteers with Pantego Fire Department and Pungo River Volunteer Fire Department.
“I was just going to assist them, to help them out,” Boyd said.
The incident started Nov. 16, 2009, when Gerard tried to pull over a truck for speeding on N.C. Highway 32 near Douglas Crossroads, according to Crane.
The driver of the truck refused to stop and took Gerard on a high-speed chase. Gerard put out a call that he was involved in a pursuit, with Boyd and troopers Crane, Potter and Riggs responding.
Riggs became the primary pursuing car, trying several pursuit intervention technique, or PIT maneuvers, on the truck before he was successful.
“The guy was a pretty good driver. He knew how to avoid a PIT maneuver,” said Crane, who was in-charge of the chase. “We had chased him for 50 minutes.”
With the truck immobilized, the troopers got a passenger, the driver’s 16-year-old son, out of the vehicle. Riggs and Boyd went back to the truck to apprehend the driver, who had started cutting his own throat and wrists with a box cutter.
“It was pretty bad,” Boyd said.
As is proper protocol, Riggs had his gun on the armed man, while Boyd used Riggs’ baton to break the passenger’s-side window.
“We tried to tell him to quit cutting his throat. He kept telling us he wanted to die and continued to cut his throat,” Boyd said.
As the man began to go limp from bleeding out, Boyd used the baton to knock the box cutter out of his hand. Gerard and Boyd struggled to apprehend the man, who was still flailing and doing harm to his neck.
“Once he quit flopping around, Trooper Gerard and I removed him from the vehicle. We put paper towels around his neck to stop the bleeding,” Boyd said.
Potter radioed for EastCare to send a helicopter, while the other law-enforcement officers struggled to keep the man alive.
“It took EastCare 20 minutes,” Crane said. “That’s a long time to keep someone alive when they’re bleeding out of their throat.”
An EastCare helicopter transported the man to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, where he fully recovered.
“I’m glad the guy lived,” Boyd said.
Crane commended the efforts of everyone involved in the chase and subsequent rescue.
“They all did a superb job,” Crane said. “They all kept their cool. I’m very proud of them for it.”