VERNON - Two Vernon men are being hailed as heroes, but they say they just did what anybody else would have done.
Andy Wilkie and Adrian Wikene, Klean-Rite employees on their way to a job were late for work last Tuesday, but they had an inarguable excuse.
Driving past the Green Valley Motel on Highway 97 around 2:30 p.m., Wikene noticed a cop pinning a man underneath him. Meanwhile, two women were tackling the police officer, attempting to free the man.
With his window down, Wikene had no trouble hearing the cop yell, “Call 911,” —something he wasted no time doing.
Then instinct and adrenaline took hold and Wikene and Wilkie sprung into action.
“I put weight on the suspect’s legs so he couldn’t kick or flip over,” Wikene says.
Wilkie held back the women, who he describes as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What they didn’t know at the time is that the 29-year-old suspect struggling beneath the police officer had recently uttered death threats at a Bannister GM employee after being denied a chance to test drive a car. A similar episode had unraveled at another business before the suspect took off for the Green Valley Motel. Finding him was easy; arresting him, not so much.
“This situation was starting to get very dangerous for our officer,” RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says.
With the help of Wilkie and Wikene, the officer was able to arrest the suspect, who is now facing charges of causing a disturbance and resisting arrest. The two women are scheduled to appear in court with possible charges of resisting a peace officer and obstruction of justice.
Throughout the incident, Wilkie says his personal safety didn’t once cross his mind, the officer’s safety came first.
“(We were) doing what any decent person would do,” Wilkie says.
A week later, Wilkie and Wikene are standing in the Vernon police detachment, receiving official certificates of recognition from the force.
“This story is about two individuals that stepped up to assist an officer in trouble, and the actions of these two men are being recognized this morning,” Molendyk says.
Both men agree they’d repeat what they did in a heartbeat.
“For us to do this, there’s no hero tag at all,” Wikene says.
“(The award) is totally unneeded. We totally appreciate it 100 per cent.... It’s just people looking out for people.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.