Despite wheelchair, man steps up to aid assaulted cop
Jacob Siem came across an officer in a dangerous struggle with a suspect, grabbed and held the suspect until police back-up arrived
MANKATO, Minn. — Jacob Siem's plan on Oct. 15 was to roll into the South Street Saloon, meet some friends and have some food and drink.
Instead, Siem came across a Mankato police officer in a dangerous struggle with a suspect, grabbed and held the suspect until police back-up arrived and ended up with one of the city's highest honors — the Award of Valor.
Officer Dan Grassman was on foot patrol in Mankato's downtown entertainment district, when he saw a fight and identified Bryan Austin Meuangsaksith, 22, of Mankato man as the aggressor. In attempting to detain Meuangsaksith, Grassman lost his footing and the man landed on top of the officer.
Siem doesn't have a wrestling background. Born with spina bifida, he uses a wheelchair. He quickly made an active choice to get between the apparently aggressive man and a cop who was in a vulnerable position, putting himself in harm’s way.
He was just trying to create some space between the officer and the suspect when the situation escalated.
It ended with Meuangsaksith on the ground, Siem on top of him and the wheelchair on top of both of them.
"I was able to hold his arms behind his back and hold him until the officer could call for backup," he said.
Public Safety Director Todd Miller, in presenting the Award of Valor before a packed City Council chambers, said "the officer could have been seriously injured and/or the suspect could have escaped and continued to assault other innocent civilians. Jacob's quick actions undoubtedly prevented further injury while he risked exposing himself to danger."
"I'd like to thank everybody," he said. "It takes an entire community to really make your community a safe and a healthy place."
Thank you Mr. Siem – your actions were courageous and inspiring – and we appreciate your valiant effort to put yourself in harm’s way to assist a fellow Police Officer in need. The Award of Valor you received was well-deserved!
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