By Christyn Allen
WARREN, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Warren County Sheriff’s Deputy, Mark Lehnen, says he’s an officer like any other.
“I think law enforcement is a fantastic thing. I’m glad I chose this field. I’m glad I chose the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. I’m glad they chose me,” said Deputy Lehnen.
It was a typical November day when Deputy Lehnen responded to a domestic call. When he arrived on the scene, he saw a female victim. She had been badly beaten.
The suspect had barricaded himself with a weapon on the third floor of their home. “During this time, the defendant had made clear his intentions to harm any law enforcement officer who pursued him,” said U.S. Attorney for Western PA, Cindy Chung.
Deputy Lehnen realized there was something familiar about this suspect. He recognized him. “I went in and talked with him. He recognized my voice. My name,” remembered Lehnen.
After making a connection, the armed man came out of the room he had barricaded himself in. Officers took him in to custody without incident. But, this isn’t where the story stops. “I’ve since received a letter from him. He stated that I saved his life,” said Lehnen. “I think it’s just something all Warren County Law Enforcement does.”
“In a situation like this where there’s dangerous use of a weapon and a barricaded suspect, that really is a situation that could turn dangerous quickly,” said Chung.
She presented Deputy Lehnen with an award and certificate—recognizing his calm demeanor, active community policing, and negotiation skills, that undoubtedly saved a life.
“Through not only the actions on this day, but through Deputy Lehnan’s prior actions where he treated someone with respect, he was able to de-escalate this,” said Chung.
Deputy Lehnen says it was just another day on the job, but he’s grateful for the recognition and says any of his fellow officers would have done the same. “We are here for the people. We try to help people. That’s what we’re here for,” said Lehnen.