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Officers commended for actions in homicide case

Park Rapids police chief Terry Eilers, left, presents officers Thomas Haag and Daniel Kruchowski the State Distinguished Service Award for their actions during an assault on Jan. 29, 2008. The Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association issues the award. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Two Park Rapids police officers were awarded the State Distinguished Service Award for their efforts to control an assault on Jan. 29, 2008.

Officers Thomas Haag and Daniel Kruchowski were presented the award by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented for exceptional achievement, including extraordinary valor, crime prevention, detective work, community service and relations, juvenile work, drug control and prevention, training, traffic safety, mentoring and innovative approaches to public safety, according to a news release.

Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers nominated Haag and Kruchowski the award due to the significance of their efforts when they were dispatched to the assault, which was in progress. Upon arrival, Kruchowski witnessed an assault taking place in the driveway of the home. He ordered a man to stop, and as the officer ran to the scene, the suspect attempted to run from the officer, at which time he was tased, according to the release.

Officer Haag arrived as the suspect was being handcuffed and noticed a large knife on the ground near the female who was being assaulted. Haag kicked the knife away and handcuffed the female.

Eilers said he thought these officers prevented further injuries of others who were at the home.

The suspect, Richard Derek Wright, is accused in the strangulation death of Sonya Hennagir. A trial date has been set for Sept. 8 in Hubbard County District Court.