Harrison Corporal Named State's Trooper of the Year

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A state police corporal who maintained control of a shooting scene and secured a suspect despite being wounded himself has been honored as the 2006 Arkansas State Trooper of the Year. A news release from state police yesterday said 57-year-old Corporal Robert Meek of Harrison also received the Arkansas State Police Medal of Valor for his actions on April 3, 2006.

Meek had attempted to stop a motorist who was speeding on U.S. 65 south of Harrison, but the driver refused to stop and sped away. The vehicle eventually stopped at a rural farmhouse, where the driver got out and fired a shotgun at Meek, who was struck by pellets in his left arm and chest. Two passengers also fled as Meek was wounded.

Meek returned fire and wounded the driver, then called for assistance. The news release said that, when another trooper arrived, he found Meek had retained control of the scene, removing the shotgun from the shooter's reach, and securing both the driver and one of the passengers.

Michael Dale Spurlock of Martinsville, Indiana, pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted capital murder for shooting Meek and was sentenced to life in prison.

Meek was one of three troopers honored with the Medal of Valor. The decoration was also awarded to Sergeant Van Nowlin of Mountain Home and Trooper Matthew Roberson of West Memphis.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)