Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department
On August 28, 1993, Deputy Eugene Gutsch responded to a call on North Street in Cornell. Dispatch reported that a man was threatening to kill his two children, ages two and four. When Deputy Gutsch arrived, he could see the suspect on his front steps holding a knife to the throat of his two-year-old son.
The suspect screamed at Deputy Gutsch and the other officers that he would kill the child unless he was able to speak with his wife and the police leave the area. Attempts at negotiations only agitated the suspect. Finally, officers convinced the suspect to release his two-year-old son, but then he placed his knife to the throat of his four-year-old daughter. When the suspect began poking the girl’s neck with the blade, officers drew their weapons and demanded that he release the girl. The suspect then retreated into a bedroom with the girl and closed the door. The wife of the suspect was now brought in to assist with negotiations. As the two talked through the door, officers could hear the little girl screaming and crying. The suspect then moved back into the hallway to talk more directly with his estranged wife.
Deputy Gutsch, seeing the suspect was being distracted by his glasses sliding down his face while his little girl was struggling in his arms and crying to use the bathroom, took the opportunity to strike the suspect’s hands hard enough to disarm him. The ensuing struggle resulted in the arrest of the suspect and the children were returned safely to their mother. There is little doubt that the actions of Deputy Gutsch and his fellow officers saved the lives of the two children.