SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon State Police trooper from Bend will be among several law enforcement officers honored Friday by the Oregon Peace Officers Association in recognition for his actions related to an April traffic stop that led to the safe discovery of an elderly kidnap victim and arrest of the suspect.
The Oregon Peace Officers Association holds the annual awards banquet to honor the men and women of Oregon's law enforcement community who have distinguished themselves through bravery, heroism, and exemplary service to the public.
The OPOA is holding the organization's annual Awards Banquet at Spirit Mountain Casino and announced the presentation of special awards to several individuals.
One of the awards, the "Distinguished Service Award," will be presented to 12 individuals, including OSP Trooper Josh Nagle.
The "Distinguished Service Award" is presented to any Criminal Justice Employee for exceptional accomplishments for which that individual distinguished themself while performing highly creditable or unusual actions.
On the night of April 24, Trooper Nagle stopped a sport utility vehicle on Highway 126E near the intersection with Highway 97 for driving without headlights on.
While in contact with the driver, Nagle became suspicious after determining the vehicle was "borrowed" and seeing numerous firearms and other items inside the SUV. Nagle detained the 20-year old driver, Skyler Suchodolski of Prineville, after finding a handgun under the front seat.
Taking it a step further, Nagle contacted Crook County dispatch and asked an officer contact the vehicle's registered owner, Leo Novak, 73, for a welfare check.
A Prineville police officer and Crook County deputy went to the residence and knocked on the door. After getting no response, they continued checking and saw through a kitchen window Novak tied to a kitchen chair. The officers entered the home and untied the man, who was the SUV's owner.
The officers noticed the man's hands were swollen and bleeding from the ligatures. He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.
The attending ER physician told officers if Novak hadn't been discovered, his hands most likely would have to be amputated if the ligatures were left on much longer.
The suspect was arrested on several charges including first-degree robbery, kidnap and burglary, and second-degree assault.
Nagle, 41, has worked for OSP for nearly five years and is assigned in the Patrol Services Division at the Bend Area Command office.