« Misinformation clouds new GI Bill | Main | Chairman Commends Marines for Impact, New Mission »

Marine ends prisoner's escape

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (July 9, 2008) — A North Carolina based Marine was awarded a Navy Commendation Medal here July 9 for his actions in apprehending a prisoner who escaped from an Ozark County, Mo., courthouse June 10.


7/9/2008 By Cpl. Aaron Rooks, 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Cpl. Allen Orcutt of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, captured William A. Huelsenbeck of Ozark County, after he escaped from custody just before arraignment for felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, forgery and stealing.

Ozark County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Justin Riley initially witnessed the escape attempt and began to pursue the felon as he made his way out of the courthouse. He said Orcutt witnessed what was taking place and immediately began to chase down the convict.

Orcutt captured the prisoner one block away from the courthouse, and restrained him until members of the sheriff’s office caught up and took custody. Riley said Orcutt was the only person at the courthouse who took action when he called out for help.

“That type of fast, decisive thinking is something to be proud of,” Riley said. “Cpl. Orcutt is a shining example of the fine men and women of the United States Marine Corps. The help he provided was greatly appreciated.”

Thomas Cline, an Ozark County prosecuting attorney, said Huelsenbeck is set to appear in court July 9 for arraignment on the previous charges, with an additional charge of attempted escape. Cline said Huelsenbeck faces up to seven years in prison per charge, plus four years for attempted escape if convicted.

Cline said Orcutt’s engagement in this action was selfless and conducted without regard for his own safety. He said Orcutt asked for no recognition and appeared to treat his actions as something that just had to be done.

Orcutt said what he did was simply the right thing to do. He said one person called him crazy. He responded with, “I’m not crazy, I’m just a Marine.”

“There wasn’t a second of thought because there was no time for it,” Orcutt said of his actions. “If I had thought about it, he would’ve got away.”

Cline, who served with the Army Security Agency in the early 1970s, said Orcutt’s actions made him proud to see that the quality of U.S. service members is still so great.

“I am heartened to know that it is young men and women like (Orcutt) that are protecting and defending our freedom and rights.”