Late one night last September, a woman was raped in downtown Bellevue. With the help of a resident, who reported seeing a man hiding, police caught the suspect in the act. He fled, but an officer's determination led to his capture that night.
The Bellevue Police gave awards Wednesday to the resident, Nick Wood, and the officer, Greg Neese, for their actions, which led to the arrest of a 25-year-old Kent man. Victor Nolasco-Luna awaits trial for second-degree rape for his attack on a 44-year-old Bellevue woman.
Wood and Officer Neese were among 14 civilians, police officers and emergency dispatchers to receive awards at an afternoon ceremony at City Hall.
On Sept. 19, around 11 p.m., Wood saw a man hiding in some bushes between two businesses near the intersection of 110th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Second Street. He called 911, reported what he had seen and left his name and number.
"Mr. Wood's actions, while seemingly small, had a large result," said Capt. John Manning, who nominated the Bellevue resident for a civilian Award.
Officer Neese received a commander's award for expertly handling the case -- from methodically searching the area to obtaining a thorough account from the victim while taking her to the hospital to learning about the suspect from the jacket and cell phone he left behind when surprised in the act.
The awards given Wednesday, including annual department awards, were:
- Officer Jeff Christiansen -- officer of the year
- Lisa Nomura -- records specialist of the year
- Sue Schutz -- dispatcher of the year
- Becky McCracken -- dispatcher event award
- Erin Mitchell -- dispatcher sustained exemplary performance
- Mark Trout -- 30 years of public service
- Officer Greg Neese -- commander's award
- Lt. Chris McOmber -- commander's award
- Officer Denny Naumec -- blue star award
- Barb Paulsen (dispatcher) -- commander's award
- Detective Jennifer Robertson -- meritorious service
- Nick Wood -- civilian law enforcement merit
- Bill Davenport -- civilian law enforcement merit
- Dennis Austin -- civilian law enforcement merit
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