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Citizens, officers honored at Portland Police Bureau’s annual awards ceremony

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Karen and Quinn Van Horne. Karen and Quinn Van Horne.
William Floyd and Mary Spiers-Floyd. William Floyd and Mary Spiers-Floyd.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Regular people who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances were among those honored Thursday at the Portland Police Bureau’s annual awards ceremony.

They included officers who prevented a gang shooting, units working to fight sex trafficking and active shooters and a K-9 team credited with taking hundreds of pounds of illegal drugs worth millions of dollars off the streets.  But they also included citizens who helped lead police to a dangerous kidnapper and saved the life of a cyclist whose leg was severed in a crash.

“It was so outstanding to watch all these awards, it was just really all the things you don’t realize are going on in your own city,” Karen Van Horne told Fox 12.  “It was really, really inspiring.”

Van Horne and her son, Quinn, were awarded the PPB’s Certificate of Appreciation.

It was back in March of 2014 that Quinn – then 15 years old – and his sister were walking home from Wilson High School.  They noticed a man in a green van eying them; he circled the block once, then twice.

“Then by the third time he comes around he’s still looking at us and I start freaking out,” Quinn Van Horne told Fox 12.

They passed along the license plate and a good description of the suspect and van to their mother, who called police and posted a warning on social media.

A woman who saw the post also saw the van the next day, and reported it to police.

The suspect, later identified as Kelly Swoboda, opened fire on Officer John Romero.  Romero was injured but recovered; Swoboda was killed in the firefight.

“The principal of the school called me the next day and said, ‘I can tell you that your children are heroes but I can’t tell you anything more than that,’” Karen added.

They didn’t learn until later that Swoboda was a predator. 

Police say he was a dangerous felon who was wanted for robbing banks and kidnapping a woman in Oak Grove just three months earlier.  Detectives say, based on the evidence recovered in his van, he was “imminently” looking for his next victim when he was killed.

“He was getting more and more bold and was determined to actually apprehend a girl,” Karen said.

“He was keeping a diary of a lot of the girls he met, one among them being my sister, which scared me to death,” Quinn said.

Also recognized Thursday were William Floyd and his wife, Mary Spiers-Floyd.

They happened to be driving down SE Powell and were stopped at the light at 26th in May of this year, when cyclist Alistair Corkett was hit by a truck.

His leg was severed on impact.

“I jumped and grabbed his leg and then she got out and she was calling 911, and I grabbed her sweatshirt and applied it as a tourniquet to him,” William Floyd recalled.

Amazingly, neither have medical backgrounds.  They’re artists and William also works as a contractor.   

They stayed on scene for two hours, comforting those involved and saving Corkett’s life.

“He was bleeding out, it was what anybody would do,” Floyd added.

“You see something like that happen, and the fact that somebody’s body can be destroyed in seconds is terrifying and you just do whatever you’ve got to do,” Spiers-Floyd explained.  “[Corkett] was a really lucky young man.”

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