Two UT Knoxville students were walking home from the library late one evening when they saw a woman and a man struggling over a purse.
Scott Boughton and Ryan Copeland heard the victim, a UT student, scream and ran to her aid. They corralled two suspected muggers and held them until police arrived.
Last Tuesday, the UT Police Department honored Boughton and Copeland for their actions on Oct. 3. Chief August Washington presented the students with the "Service to Law En-forcement Award" plaques for helping apprehend the suspects.
Washington said the students’ actions were good examples of the UTPD’s motto "Enforcement Through Cooperation."
"Rather than turning the other way, they decided to get involved. We are thankful they stepped up because it could have been difficult for the police to find the suspects later," Washing-ton said.
Chief Washington said UTPD does not suggest everybody get physically involved in fighting crime and cautioned people against endangering themselves. Generally the most helpful thing people can do is to quickly inform police about suspicious-looking people or situations on campus.
Boughton and Copeland, both juniors, said they were surprised by all the recognition. "We definitely didn’t think we deserved anything like this," Boughton said. Boughton is from Alpharetta, Ga., and Copeland is from Knoxville.
The incident happened along 16th Street near the Panhellenic Building. Because both suspects are juveniles, their names have not been released.