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Article updated: 2/8/2013 8:02 PM

Three suburbanites honored by Cook County police for stopping DUI suspect

By Russell Lissau

Three suburban men have been honored by the Cook County sheriff's office for stopping a DUI suspect from leaving after a crash.

Lake Zurich resident Anthony Schaar, Kildeer resident John Schroeder and Fox River Grove resident Thomas Tarasiuk have been given the sheriff's Outstanding Citizen Award for their actions on Nov. 4, 2012.

"They definitely went above and beyond any normal act to protect their community," sheriff's spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said.

Shortly after midnight, they came across a Saturn on Lake-Cook Road at Quentin Road in Palatine Township that was stopped in the roadway, Demertzis said.

Schaar and Schroeder were in a car together, headed to a friend's house. Tarasiuk was in a different vehicle with his family. They noticed the car had heavy front-end damage and stopped to check on the driver, Demertzis said.

They found the driver in the car and discovered he was drunk, Demertzis said. When one of them started to call 911 for help, the driver tried to leave, she said.

The men stopped him, took the keys and waited for police, she said. They also diverted other motorists around the stopped car.

"We didn't want anyone else getting hurt," Schaar said in a telephone interview.

The motorist in the Saturn was identified by police as Matthew Michalski, 42, of the 300 block of East Second Street in East Dundee. He was charged with driving under the influence and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The prizes were to be presented Thursday night as part of an annual award ceremony, but the snowy weather prevented all three recipients from attending. The presentation will be rescheduled.

The 22-year-old Schaar said the praise from the sheriff's office "feels great."

"It just goes to show that if you do the right thing, you could be recognized sometimes," he said.

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