Thursday, March 01, 2001

Butler Co. men certified heroes

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Two Butler County men are being recognized for life-saving heroism in helping a young woman who was being stabbed in a store parking lot.

        Don E. Sapp and Richard F. Baker were selected to receive the Civilian Service Award, “the supreme degree of recognition that can be given to a member of the community,” the award says.

        Police Chief Neil Ferdel man said he thinks this is the first time in 25 years that anyone has been chosen for the award. Chief Ferdelman, City Manager Steve Sorrell and Mayor Adolf Olivas were to bestow the honor at Wednesday night's City Council meeting.

        “They seriously jeopardized their lives and they deserve the most public recognition possible,” Chief Ferdelman said. “These guys saved this gal's life.”

        Mr. Sapp and Mr. Baker intervened in the Jan. 6 stabbing of Bethany Rochelle Durbin, 22, outside the Kroger store on North Erie Highway.

        Mr. Sapp, 40, said he was about to put his groceries into his car trunk when he heard a woman screaming. He saw a man appear to strike the young woman and then saw her fall to the ground.

        After Mr. Sapp pulled the attacker off the woman, Mr. Sapp and Mr. Baker kept her attacker restrained until police arrived. Although they held him only a few minutes, their actions were instrumental in saving Ms. Durbin's life, Chief Ferdelman said.

        Ms. Durbin, who says her boyfriend attacked her after she tried to break up with him, suffered wounds and was hospitalized for several days.

        Her boyfriend, Scott Sizemore, 25, of New Miami, is being held in the Butler County jail. He was indicted on charges of attempted murder and kidnapping, and is scheduled for a competency hearing March 16 in Butler County Common Pleas Court.


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