DuPage County Sheriff's Office intern honored for help in potentially dangerous situation

DUPAGE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- A quick-thinking intern is being praised by the sheriff's department in DuPage County after helping to deescalate a potentially dangerous situation.

When 22-year-old Frank Ficarra walked into the room, he had no idea the cameras were there for him.

"Being a hero and doing brave things is not just for police officers," said DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick.

With his family watching, the criminal justice senior at Illinois State University received an award and a big thank you from the sheriff.

Last Monday, Ficarra was out assisting Cpl. Eduardo Castillo. Seeing the pair side-by-side, you can't help but notice the size difference and it was Ficarra's size that made a world of difference that day.

When the two were out patrolling, they spotted a vehicle for a suspect wanted on a warrant.

"Once the suspect was out of the car he actively resisted Castillo," said Sheriff Mendrick.

The sheriff described the suspect as a man much bigger than Castillo, but that's when the intern jumped in.

"I saw Cpl. Castillo struggling a little bit and I wanted to get out and just, I didn't really know what I'd be able to do in that situation," said Ficarra.

"Even though he didn't go hands on, his presence made a difference," Cpl. Castillo said. "The offender, I believed, though he was my backup cop."

"This situation could've ended in tragedy but one look at intern Ficarra made the suspect think twice about fighting," Sheriff Mendrick said.

A potentially volatile situation ended with the suspect safely arrested and perhaps a future job offer for intern Ficarra.

"My unit that I'm in could use another person," Cpl. Castillo said, "so if he gets hired maybe he can come back to CIU."

Ficarra said he is graduating this December.
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