Kenneth Wicklund, left, was honored by the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct on Nov. 20 after heroically jumping in to help two officers subdue a suspect in West Seattle seven days earlier. Precinct Captain Steve Paulsen, right, presented Wicklund with a certificate of appreciation and police badge. PLEASE SEE THE GALLERY BELOW FOR MORE
Wicklund honored for helping West Seattle police subdue suspect
Lifetime West Seattle resident Kenneth Wicklund was on his way home after picking up a pizza when he turned the corner at 42nd Ave S.W. and S.W. Charlestown St. on the evening of Nov. 13. He saw two police officers wrestling with a man in the middle of the road, pulled over, and stepped out of his vehicle …
Minutes before, Southwest Precinct Officer Sara Mulloy had seen a suspect run a red light in a black Kia and initiated a stop. The 28-year-old suspect failed to provide identification or a real name. Suddenly, the suspect attempted to drive away, Mulloy stopped him, and a struggle ignited as they spilled into the road. Southwest Precinct Sgt. Joe Bauer arrived at that moment and the two attempted to subdue and cuff Skyler Gronholz, the suspect in this case now facing assault charges as a defendant.
Wicklund, who spends his days as the captain of an Argosy cruise ship and the chief fleet engineer, rounded the corner and, as he put it, “the officers were laying in the middle of the street with the suspect. One officer was pinned underneath; the suspect was in the middle and the second officer on top. I parked my car, walked up to them, and it looked intense … but I asked the officer if he needed help, and he said yes.”
Wicklund sprung into action, helping Mulloy and Bauer force Gronholz’s arms behind his back so he could be cuffed.
With their suspect under control and plenty of backup arriving on the scene, the three had an opportunity to survey their damage. Sgt. Bauer suffered a dislocated shoulder, Officer Mulloy had plenty of scrapes and bruises, and Wicklund was feeling the pain in his shoulder and arm along with a scrape along the leg.
“We were glad to see him,” Sgt. Bauer said of Wicklund’s aid, “that guy (Gronholz) was a nightmare.”
Seven days later, on the evening of Nov. 20, Southwest Precinct Captain Steve Paulsen invited Wicklund and his family to the precinct to give proper thanks and send him away with a certificate of appreciation and his own personal Seattle Police Department badge.
Before the ceremony began, Mulloy, Wicklund and Bauer had a chance to catch up, swapping war memories and talking down their injuries (all said they are doing fine now).
“I want to say thank you on behalf of the precinct and entire Seattle Police Department,” Cpt. Paulsen said. “Selflessly, you threw yourself into a situation that you didn’t have to, and your heroism actually helped our officers in a pretty dramatic situation.
“You put yourself into a situation that you had no idea what this guy had done … all of us are so appreciative for what you did.”
Capt. Paulsen said while other bystanders pulled out their cell phones and started filming as his officers “were fighting for their lives,” Wicklund “chose to jump in and help out.”
Facing a fight or flight response, Wicklund chose the prior.
“I couldn't stand there and watch or walk away,” he said. “If something more serious had happened I’d always wonder if could have helped them out.”
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