Four Shrewsbury Police Officers Honored for Life-Saving Action

 by Tom MarinoMay 25, 2023
Last Updated May 25, 2023 7:39 AM

SHREWSBURY - Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early Jr. recognized four members of the Shrewsbury Police Department on Wednesday. The group took life-saving action that saved a man's life in February.

Early issued the District Attorney's TEAM Award to officers Alex Desimone, Dillon Zona and Tyler Vlass, and Sgt. Mark Sklut.

On Feb. 13, Shrewsbury Police received a report shortly before noon of a man trapped in mud at Flint Pond. Officer Desimone was first to arrive at the scene and found Justin Schmautz, 24, of Shrewsbury, shoulders deep in mud.

Schmautz and his girlfriend were operating remote controlled boats at the pond that day. When Schmautz attempted to free a stuck boat, he became stuck in the mud. Only minutes had passed before he had sunk up to his shoulders.

Desimone quickly realized he would not be able to reach Schmautz. Instead he used a ResQ Disc, a device used help people trapped in water.

Desimone stayed in the water and acted as an anchor while Zona, Vlass, and Sklut pulled the rope which freed Schmautz from the mud.

Schmautz, who attended the award presentation yesterday, said "I was in shock at how quickly they got me out.”

Early created the TEAM Award in 2019 to recognize public safety worker who go above and beyond the line of duty. Contact the district attorney's office at (508) 755-8601 to nominate someone for the award.

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