Posted at: 11/28/2012 8:11 PM
Updated at: 11/28/2012 10:23 PM
By: Dietrich Nissen
(ABC 6 News) -- On Wednesday afternoon, 18 people were recognized by the Rochester Police Department for their heroic deeds. Among them were two investigators and an officer who helped catch a suspected serial rapist in the city's Kutzky Park neighborhood.
"The incident that we're honoring these officers- investigators is one that got significant media attention because it was such a heinous and a violent nature,” says Captain John Sherwin.
After weeks of interviews and door knocking in the Kutzky Park neighborhood, investigators Brent Petersen and Eric Boynton, finally caught the boy suspected of attacking three women.
"He was a serial rapist and he was progressing with each and every one," says Petersen. "We were really concerned at least I was really concerned that this could happen again and result in maybe a homicide."
Investigators caught a break when Officer Lisa Weber gave them the 17-year-old's name.
"It was ultimately investigator Weber's tip that helped crack this case," says Petersen. He and Boynton then went to the boy's home to talk and collect his DNA.
"Of all the people that we had talked to that day and asked for DNA samples, he was the most nervous I thought. And that raised some flags with me. But still, there was that little bit of doubt in my head - that can't be him," says Petersen.
But it was. A couple hours later, the boy confessed to his mother and turned himself in.
"I know the community- especially the Kutzky Park area, was breathing a sigh of relief knowing that he'd been identified and ultimately arrested," says Petersen.
Back in September when this all happened, Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem said the 17-year-old will likely be charged as an adult.
"When you look at the statutes and you look at the rules, it's presumptive that someone even over the age of 14 that commits an offense that would qualify as a mandatory prison sentence…It's presumptive they be committed or certified as an adult," said Ostrem.
And although the trio of investigators received awards for their work, they say it took a community to catch their suspect.
Also among those at the ceremony were five people, including two off-duty and on-duty officers, who are credited with saving a man during cardiac arrest. A citizen was also awarded for talking down a woman with a gun.