Five members of the Boise Police Department’s Special Operations Unit traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept national honors at the annual Top Cops award ceremony Friday.
Detectives Tim Brady and Coy Bruner and Cpls. Denny Carter, Chris Davis and Brek Orton received honorable mention for their actions last August leading to the nonviolent apprehension of an armed man who threatened a homeowner with a gun, and then pointed that weapon repeatedly at police officers and shot at them twice.
“The actions of these officers demonstrates the value of sound tactics, patience, effective communication, vigilance, creativity and quick thinking,” Boise police said in a Friday news release announcing the honor. “Thanks to the bravery and restraint of these seasoned officers, this incident resolved without injury to members of the public, law enforcement officers, or the suspect.”
Here’s what police say happened the evening of Aug. 5, 2016:
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A homeowner in the 1900 block of Columbus Street discovered a man burglarizing her garage and attempted to stop him. The man pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her if she called police.
Officers responded and stopped the man’s vehicle. Two people inside followed police commands, exited and were arrested as suspected accomplices. But the primary suspect, later identified as Michael R. Osborn, refused to get out of the vehicle and repeatedly pointed a gun at officers.
The five SOU officers arrived in an armored Bearcat vehicle to assist crisis negotiators. During several hours of negotiations, they used the Bearcat to deliver items to Osborn, who appeared angry and yelled into a cellphone that he would not return to prison. He later stopped communicating with negotiators.
After Davis saw the still-armed Osborn attempting to start the vehicle, officers “quickly formulated a plan to disable the vehicle by pushing the side of the vehicle with the Bearcat,” police said in Friday’s news release. Orton, Brady and Bruner positioned themselves outside of the armored vehicle “to serve as a react/take-down team in the event the suspect elected to jump from his vehicle and run.”
“As the Bearcat pushed the suspect’s vehicle up on its two passenger side tires, the suspect fired a shot in the direction of the officers,” police said. “Acting quickly and decisively, Corporal Orton deployed a flash-bang onto the hood of the suspect’s vehicle. The suspect reacted by firing yet another shot.
“Corporal Carter, riding in the passenger seat of the Bearcat, determined that the suspect appeared intent upon killing members of the SOU, other on-scene law enforcement officers and possibly residents ... rather than be apprehended.”
Carter eventually threw another flash-bang device into Osborn’s vehicle, and the explosion caused Osborn to throw his firearm out of the vehicle, effectively surrendering, police said.
Osborn, 33, pleaded guilty in January to felony charges of burglary, assault on an officer, two counts of witness intimidation and possession of a firearm by a felon. He’s now in prison for at least 15 years and possibly up to 32, according to Idaho Department of Correction online records.
The Top Cops ceremony is held in Washington, D.C., each year in conjunction with the celebration of National Police Week.
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447