14 Aurora cops honored for saving men in burning car

Updated 7/29/2012 6:10 PM

If a Baker's Dozen is 13, what's a catchy phrase for 14?

That might be needed in Aurora after the city's police department honored 12 officers and two sergeants for helping two people whose car caught fire after crashing into a tree.


At about 12:30 a.m. May 27, officers were dispatched to the 600 block of North Avenue and found a 1995 Plymouth Neon on fire.

Two males, ages 16 and 39, were stuck inside to where the fire had spread. Officers were unable to open the car doors, so they ended up using 10 fire extinguishers to keep the two men -- the teen had a broken femur -- from being burned until firefighters arrived, to put out the flames and to extricate the victims.

"Fabulous 14" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas opted for other words.

"The actions of these officers defines true heroism and illustrates the commitment of the Aurora police to protect the lives of our citizens. As one firefighter on the scene was heard saying, 'The efforts of the police officers saved these guys tonight,'" Thomas said in a statement.

The officers recognized as June's Employees of the Month were: Brian Baumann, Christopher Grandchamp, Enrique Huerta, Sandra Martinez, Christopher Cox, John Gray, Laura Kolanowski, Sandra Navarrete, Aendri Decker, Kyle Hoffman, Ramon Lopez and Steven Pacenti. The sergeants honored were Jeff Tate and Eric Westrom.

Mediation lesson: McHenry County Circuit Judge Michael T. Caldwell recently returned from Italy where he delivered a lecture to students at Loyola University School of Law in Rome.

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James Faught, assistant dean of the law school, invited Caldwell to speak on the evolution of the adversary system to discuss modern alternatives to trial.

"Whether a law student intends to practice in the courts or not, it is important to know not only the evolution of our system of justice, but to also be knowledgeable about alternative dispute resolution," he said in a statement. "It is more important these days because the overwhelming number of cases are resolved by some form of out-of-court agreement, most recently through the process of mediation."

Caldwell, who also is a trained judicial mediator, is a civil trial court judge and presides over civil jury and bench trials in the 22nd Judicial Circuit in Woodstock.

Free legal advice: The next "Ask A Lawyer Day" sponsored by the Kane County Bar Association will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 11. People can call (630) 762-1900 to get free legal advice from volunteer attorneys on a variety of issues. Officials say there is a high call volume and people should keep trying since volunteers can't access voice mail.


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