Patrolman Jason Utt of the New Martinsville Police Department is very humble when it comes to the quick action he showed last week in rescuing an 87-year-old Harrison County man who was trapped in his car.
"There isn't much to say," he stated when asked for remarks on the heroism he showed the morning of July 23.
However, Utt's coworkers aren't as quiet when it comes to praising their fellow law enforcement officer:
Patrolman Jason Utt was hired by NMPD in Fall 2013. Here he is pictured with Chief Tim Cecil the evening council approved of his employment.
"He was coming south-bound on Route 2, and as he came over the Po-Boy hill, he noticed a vehicle smoking," Chief Tim Cecil of the NMPD stated when recapping the events. "He stopped in the northbound lane and immediately pulled over in front of it, and as he exited the vehicle, people were screaming there was an elderly gentleman in the vehicle and all the doors were locked."
"Jason goes to the driver's side and tries to get a response and can't see the man. He got no response, so he went to the passenger side, took his baton out, and busted the passenger side window."
"I struck the window. The man was conscious but not responding," Utt noted.
Utt stated that the vehicle was completely filled with a white cloud of smoke inside that was rolling out from the hood. He described the fumes as "overwhelming." Utt then dragged the gentleman out of the smoke-filled vehicle. Utt stated that the fire department, who arrived with EMS within three to four minutes, noted that the gentleman's radiator had exploded and "filled the car with fumes."
The gentleman has since been released from Wetzel County Hospital. He was reported missing by his family the morning he was found in his vehicle. Chief Cecil stated the man must have become dazed and confused.
As of Patrolman Utt, Cecil stated he thinks it is wonderful Utt was there at the time. "It comes to the fact he is always on the road and always patrolling."
A video titled "Our Hero," in Utt's honor, has since been uploaded to YouTube. It was directed and produced by Rick Estep, dispatcher of the New Martinsville Police Department. The video is "dedicated to all those who wear cloth badges!!!" and is from Utt's "HONORED friends and co-workers at NMPD."
Patrolman Utt was hired by New Martinsville Police Department in Fall 2013; however, he has already made a name for himself. In June 2014 he received credit for a drug bust. "It's a wonderful job done by a new patrolman out of the academy," Cecil noted of Utt at the time.