DELAWARE – A sergeant from the Delaware Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was honored today for his life-saving actions during an off-duty encounter with an armed man on State Route 3 in Delaware County on March 30, 2011.
Sgt. William P. Elschlager was presented with a Certificate of Recognition today at the General Headquarters, by Colonel John Born, Patrol superintendent, for his heroic and life-saving actions.
On the morning of March 30, 2011, Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Elschlager left his house in an off-duty status in his personal vehicle. Leaving his neighborhood, he discovered that the original route planned was blocked by law enforcement due to a potentially armed man in the area. In taking a different route, Sgt. Elschlager observed a male running across the road with a uniformed Sunbury Police Officer in pursuit, who had his weapon drawn and pointed.
Sgt. Elschlager exited his vehicle, immediately informing the officer he was an off-duty sergeant and unarmed. The officer stated that the subject was armed and began moving closer to the individual, who squared himself, bladed his body and raised his fists as if in a fighting stance. Sgt. Elschlager closed the gap to engage the individual. Using his training and officer safety knowledge, Sgt. Elschlager performed a double leg takedown. As the individual attempted to reach to the rear of his body, Sgt. Elschlager was then able to control him by utilizing pressure points, forcing the individual to comply to an arrest when he refused to cooperate. It was then discovered that the suspect had a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his rear jean pocket, a 4-inch pocket knife and two nylon gun holsters.
It was later learned that the original call was to the individual’s residence because he was suicidal. He fled the scene as an armed man, creating a life-threatening hazard to himself and the surrounding community. In a show of bravery, Sgt. Elschlager reacted to the situation automatically, without regard to his personal safety and assisted in the apprehension of this extremely dangerous individual.
Sgt. Elschlager began his career with the Patrol as a member of the 128th Academy Class in February 1997. He earned his commission in July of that year and was assigned to the Circleville Post. As a trooper he also served at the Marietta, West Jefferson and Circleville Posts as well as in Executive Protection at the statehouse. In November 2002 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and transferred to the Portsmouth Post to serve as assistant post commander. As a sergeant he has also served at the Marysville, Delaware and Georgetown Posts as well as the Patrol Academy.
Sgt. Elschlager currently resides in Sunbury.