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MP Saves Lives in Hospital Scuffle

DC Guard Citizen-Soldier uses training to assist sheriff's deputy and prevent tragedy
SGT Timothy Brown (right) of the DC Guard's 275th Military Police Company receives the District of Columbia Hero Recognition Award for helping subdue a hospital patient who tried to take an officer's weapon. Photo by SPC Jennifer Amo
SGT Timothy Brown (right) of the DC Guard's 275th Military Police Company receives the District of Columbia Hero Recognition Award for helping subdue a hospital patient who tried to take an officer's weapon. Photo by SPC Jennifer Amo

Fredericksburg, VA Tapping his military police training, a Citizen-Soldier from the District of Columbia National Guard prevented a confrontation from turning tragic in October when he helped subdue a hospital patient who was trying to take a sheriff deputy’s weapon. 

As bystanders hurried from a rapidly deteriorating situation at the Mary Washington Hospital Trauma Center, Sergeant Timothy Brown of the 275th Military Police Company, who is a respiratory therapist, ran toward danger to assist Stafford County Deputy Sheriff Dan Gentry.  

“I heard a commotion going on—a little scuffle. I heard the law enforcement officer state that the subject had his weapon or was attempting to pull it out of the holster,” Brown says. “Out of instinct, I just got up and ran into the room and offered the police officer some assistance.”

The scuffle broke out as Gentry escorted a mental health subject into the hospital for evaluation. While speaking inside a hospital room, the subject became verbally and physically combative. As Gentry tried to restrain the subject, the individual grabbed the officer’s service weapon and attempted to pull it out of the holster.

Brown subdued the emotionally unstable individual by using a military police technique until the deputy was able to apply handcuffs.

Gentry took a few moments after the situation was under control to figure out who Brown was and how he was able to employ a perfect restraining technique on the individual.

“If you have a law enforcement officer yelling ‘Let go of my gun’ while he’s fighting on the ground with an individual, why would you interject yourself?” Gentry asks. “Others that were in the area were walking on by; why did this one individual step in?”

Brown, identified as hospital staff from his badge and hospital scrubs, explained to Gentry that he was a former Marine and was currently serving with the DC Guard as a military police officer.

“The fact that he was well trained, he employed the bent-wrist technique and he did so in such perfect fashion, perfect form … it also explains why he was more than willing and more than capable to step in to this extremely dangerous situation and interject himself without knowing the outcome,” Gentry says.

Brown later insisted that his actions that day are aligned with the core values that any Citizen-Soldier would perform in a moment of crisis.

“Even though I’m not wearing this uniform, I’m still a Soldier,” he says. “It could have turned out to be a very bad situation. I envisioned [an] active shooter; I envisioned deadly force being used against that subject.”

Gentry says that due to how the scuffle was escalating, it was quickly becoming a deadly force scenario where he would have had to use any means necessary to defend those in the hospital. 

“When Sergeant Brown, the Soldier, stepped in to assist me at that time, he saved the individual's life,” Gentry says.

Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett echoed Gentry’s praise. “Sergeant Brown exemplified what service is all about and the selflessness that goes into what he does,” he says. 

For his heroic actions at the hospital, Brown received the District of Columbia Hero Recognition Award during a ceremony in early December.  

Reflecting on his act of duty and courage, Brown settled on a textbook noncommissioned officer response: “I think this is a good reflection on the U.S. military, the U.S. Army, the DC National Guard [and] my unit, the 275th Military Police Company. They know that even though I’m not in uniform at times, I’m still on the job.”