WASHINGTON, DC – The National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum is pleased to announce that the January 2021 Officers of the Month are Lieutenant Joe Asbrock, Evendale (OH) Police Department, Officer Rich Riley, Montgomery (OH) Police Department, and Deputy Rylan Babbs, Hamilton County (OH) Sheriff’s Office, selected for their quick and brave actions in rescuing an unconscious citizen trapped in a car fire.
On the evening of January 9, 2021, a woman had been expected at a friend’s home in Sycamore Township, Ohio, for dinner, and didn’t arrive as expected. One of the guests, Lt. Joe Asbrock, contacted Officer Rich Riley, who had helped the woman repair a flat tire a short time earlier. Lt. Asbrock and PO Riley coordinated a search for the woman and issued a county-wide broadcast for her vehicle.
Soon after the broadcast was issued, Deputy Rylan Babbs spotted the vehicle in a wooded area behind First Church of God. The driver had experienced a diabetic emergency and was unconscious with her foot on the gas pedal. The friction of the vehicle’s wheels on the leaves and wood had ignited as Lt. Asbrock and PO Riley joined the scene. As the flames rose, the officers struggled to get inside the vehicle, unsuccessfully using batons to try to break a window. Ultimately, PO Riley shot out a back window and was able to open the driver’s door. After Lt. Asbrock entered the backseat of the burning car, he unlatched the woman’s seatbelt, allowing PO Riley to get her out, just as the flames engulfed the vehicle.
The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for burns and other medical issues. Officer Riley was also taken to the hospital where he was treated for burns to his hands and arms, then released.
“Each of these officers were instrumental in saving a citizen’s life. The selfless acts of heroism and teamwork these law enforcement officers showed is what makes them remarkable human beings,” said Marcia Ferranto, CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Located in the nation’s capital, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America’s law enforcement officers. The Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Award Program began in 1996 and recognizes federal, state, and local officers who distinguish themselves through exemplary law enforcement service and devotion to duty.
The Police Unity Tour is the official sponsor of the Memorial Fund’s Officer of the Month Program.