BURIEN, Wash. - Several Albertsons employees received the King County Sheriff's Office Meritorious Service Award on Monday night.
The employees are credited with intervening when a suspect tried to allegedly rape an 11-year-old boy in the grocery store's bathroom. The incident happened on September 29 last year, inside the Albertson's at South 128th Street and 1st Avenue South in Burien. The employees rushed to the boy when they heard screams for help. They were able to hold the suspect down until police arrived.
The suspect, Andrew Dempsey, pleaded not guilty to the attempted rape charge. Prosecutors said in this incident, Dempsey had methamphetamine in his possession and told officers the boy fell into him.
But police noted the 11-year-old had scratches and red marks on his face, neck and shoulder.
Dempsey is being held at the King County Jail on a $1 million bail.
Teasha Ward was one of the Albertsons employees honored. At the Burien City Council meeting, Police Chief Scott Kimerer showed surveillance video of Ward rushing down a hall to help when she heard someone screaming.
"She opened the door, grabbed the boy, and got him out of there," said Tonya Ward, Teasha's mother. "To see that video tonight was, wow! That was amazing, what she did to save the little boy."