Officials praise guard for coming to officer's aid
By VICKI ROCK firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 10:31 pm
Officials on Tuesday praised corrections officer Jeff Keefer, who went to the assistance of Somerset Borough police Officer Chris Pile when Pile was in an altercation with the driver of a stolen car.
Police Chief Randy Cox said Keefer was on his way to work early Monday and saw Pile struggling with Robert Glenn Mitchell, 35, of Somerset, along Berlin Plank Road. Mitchell was driving a car stolen from Jeremy Rose along East Main Street. “We are very grateful,” Cox said. “I have to hand it to him; he was seeing a violent struggle between an officer and a subject, and he put aside concerns for his own safety to render aid.”
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Cox said Keefer had no way of knowing if Mitchell had a gun. He did not. “We are very appreciative,” he said.
“I have contacted his supervisor and the superintendent of SCI-Somerset to tell them, and we plan to publicly commend him for his actions.”
Superintendent Trevor Wingard of the State Correctional Institution at Somerset said he wasn’t surprised to hear that Keefer went to Pile’s assistance.
“That’s the kind of person he is,” Wingard said.
“It was a selfless act; he put himself in danger. We have a lot of great employees here, but Keefer goes above and beyond in his work here and in the community.”
He has been employed at the prison for more than 21 years.
Pile was treated at Somerset Hospital and released, Cox said. He is being evaluated by occupational health therapists before he returns to duty.
March 3, 2016