A police officer for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has been named Officer of the Year by the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs.
Chad McGary, 28, of Othello, received the award at a Feb. 2 ceremony.
The council recognized McGary for his “bravery and heroism” during an incident last July, a year after he had joined the agency as a fish and wildlife police officer. He had previously served for three years as a police officer in Royal City.
McGary and his supervisor, Capt. Chris Anderson, were patrolling the banks of Crab Creek near Mattawa when 18-year-old Garcia Miraz allegedly pulled a handgun on McGary during a fishing-license check.
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Officer McGary reasoned with the man and refused to hand over his own pistol, even when the man’s father showed up brandishing a five-inch fillet knife.
“I just had a feeling that it would be all over if I gave up my gun,” McGary said in a prepared statement. He instead threw the gun into a thicket. After warning the two men that his captain was nearby, McGary eventually convinced the younger man to get in his car and leave.
McGary then used his radio to call Anderson, who chased the younger man and apprehended him after an exchange of gunfire.
Miraz was charged with attempted murder and was scheduled to appear in Grant County Superior Court last week.
His father pleaded no contest to a charge of second-degree assault, and was sentenced to five months in jail and deported.
Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, staff writer