Stopping Langley bank robber proved costly

Liquor store employee Steven Emard was helping a restaurant client with an order in April 2011 when he saw an odd sight.

A burly man was running in his direction behind Emard’s Willowbrook workplace.

“Money was flying from his hands,” Emard said.

And an RCMP officer was chasing him.

Emard landed a kick on the big fellow which allowed for his apprehension.

Only later would Emard learn that the man was armed and had just robbed the CIBC next door at 201st Street and 64th Avenue.

For his help, Emard received a commendation at a Langley RCMP ceremony March 6.

Supt. Derek Cooke, who handed out the awards, found out about the aftermath of Emard’s actions. He was suspended from work for five days and appealed. In the end he lost two days wages.

“For someone doing the right thing to be penalized, I was surprised,” Cooke said.

Emard found out he was to receive a commendation, alongside the RCMP officer who was involved, about two weeks before the ceremony.

“I was excited,” he said about his reaction when he found out, joking that he’s glad the bank robber is still in jail.

Also honoured in the incident was Const. Keith Rogers.

This was the first time this Langley-specific event has been held.

Const. Anders Galasso stopped a suicidal woman holding a knife while Const. Amber Prosser negotiated with a distraught man barricaded in a house. Const. Saudagar Teja and auxiliary constable Dean McBride attempted to rescue a man from a burning apartment building and helped evacuate other tenants.

S/Sgt. Daryl Creighton, in an arm cast at the time and off duty, apprehended a violent shoplifter.

Insp. Amrik Virk, who retired after being elected an MLA, was off duty in White Rock when he and another saved a person from drowning.

Some local civilians were also recognized.

Barry and Kyle Wilson went out with an RCMP officer to rescue a father and son from the Fraser River.

Mitch Quinn helped when a student in a vehicle was threatening to use it to hurt others.

The ceremony was also a chance to recognize the work of RCMP members.

Several received long service medals for work ranging from 20 years to 45 years with the force. Recognized were Sgt. Bob Gray (45 years), S/Sgt. Bob Ginn (35), Cpl. Brian Largy (23, 30 and 35), St. Al Coons, (30), Insp. Amrik Virk (ret.) (25), Cpl. Holly Marks (25), Const. Vonna Fitzgerald (25), S/Sgt. Mike Coyle (25), and Sgt. Barb Lamontagne (20 and 25).

S/Sgt. Dave Carr received the operational service medal for work in the East Timor. He’s also worked in Kosovo and the South Sudan. Const. Steve McKeddie’s efforts in the South Sudan earned him the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal.

The Commander’s Merit Award went to Cpl. Mohammed Beyhaghi. The Australian military nominated him for his service in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Lisa Deverinchuk, Sgt. Dan Burkinshaw and Const. Craig Mitchell received the Commanding Officer’s Certificate of Appreciation for work with the missing women’s inquiry.

Auxiliary constables with more than 300 hours of annual volunteering were honoured including Jason Kroeker, Dean McBride, Marlene Pukanich, Tommy Varga, Arron Tarnes, Derek Humeniuk, Darlene Stewart, Ron Wilson and Terry McNeil.

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