State chiefs association to honor Silverthorne officer for valor
KEYSTONE – Silverthorne Police Officer Mark Watson humbly claims he was just doing his job, but his chief and the state’s association of police chiefs thought enough of his actions to honor him with an annual award for valor.
Watson will receive the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police Valor Award today at a banquet in Keystone as part of the association’s annual conference.
Silverthorne Police Chief John Patterson nominated Watson for the award based on his response to an incident at Dillon’s Super 8 Motel on Oct. 28.
Silverthorne officers responded to a report of a disturbance at the motel after they realized the Dillon police officer on duty was at the jail in Breckenridge. Watson, along with Sgt. Mark Beluscak and officers Bryan Siebel and Theresa Barger, initially thought they would be dealing with a domestic disturbance. The other officers headed to the upper floors of the motel to locate the disturbance, but Watson headed to the office to find the manager, who had called 911.
Once he entered the lobby, Watson found the room splattered with blood and a man atop a screaming woman, beating her ferociously. By the time the other officers reached the room, Watson had the man in handcuffs.
“You put all these scenarios in your head on the way to a call,” Watson said Friday. “This wasn’t what we expected. But you do what you’ve been trained to do.”
The investigation following the assault determined the man attacked the motel’s front desk clerk after his credit card had been denied. The clerk suffered severe trauma, including a broken nose and numerous lacerations on her face and head.
The attacker was later convicted on numerous charges. The man received a 12-year prison sentence for the attack.
“Officer Watson’s quick actions and disregard for his own personal safety prevented further injuries to the victim and saved her life,” Patterson wrote in his letter nominating Watson for the award. “His actions were in keeping with the highest ideals and traditions within the law enforcement profession.”
Watson said Patterson didn’t tell him about the nomination and learning he won the award “was a nice surprise and quite an honor.” He said saving the day could be as simple as helping kids cross the street, not just saving lives, and that “it’s all part of the job.”
The Silverthorne town council also honored Watson Wednesday night by declaring today Mark Watson Day.
Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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