Two Little Rock police officers have been recommended for commendation for helping a woman and her son after a Tuesday morning burglary.
Officers were called to 12 Meadowlark Drive about 8:37 a.m. to a burglary in progress in which two burglars broke into the residence and stole a TV, according to a Little Rock Police Department report. The homeowner, 34-year-old Kristen Epperson, told police that her 13-year-old son, who was alone and sick at home at the time of the burglary, said he heard the front door of the residence being kicked in and ultimately scared the burglars away with a fireplace tool.
The door frame and jamb were so heavily damaged in the break-in that the door would not close securely, and Epperson and her son decided they would stay with relatives until the entrance could be repaired, according to a police statement.
However, while the two were traveling to the relative's house their vehicle was struck by another vehicle, and Epperson and her son were taken to a local hospital with unspecified injuries.
The officers who responded to the accident, Officer Brian Healy and Officer Chance Ketzscher, were told about the burglary and subsequent damage to the door while gathering information from Epperson and volunteered to help her. Healy went to a local hardware store and with his own money purchased the tools and supplies to replace Epperson's door jamb, door trim and door knob, according to the letter requesting the officers' commendation. He and Ketzscher then repaired the entrance of the home so that it was secure.
"Ms. Epperson and her 13 year old son experienced two traumatic events in a matter of an hour," Sgt. Jason Follett, the officers' direct supervisor, wrote in the letter. "The officers displayed outstanding citizenship and went beyond their duty to help the distressed citizen. I recommend that Officer Healy and Officer Ketzscher receive a Letter of Commendation for their actions."
Little Rock Police spokesman Lt. Sidney Allen said the division commander, who in this case would be Capt. Terry Hastings, has the authorization to issue letters of commendation.
Read more about this story in Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.