SUFFOLK - A Suffolk police officer nearly beaten to death during a traffic stop last year was presented the city's highest honor-the Medal of Valor.
Officer James Winslow also was named Officer of the Year for 2012 at Thursday night's ceremony.
He pulled over 43-year-old Joe Staton around 8:25 a.m. on Saturday, 19. Staton ran from the stolen SUV into the woods near Nansemond Parkway and Portsmouth Blvd. Winslow followed and Staton attacked, beating him in the head.
Staton was convicted and is serving a 40-year sentence.
"For his selfless actions, and his dedication to duty, Officer Winslow is being recognized with the department's highest award," said Police Chief Thomas Bennett, in making the presentation.
Others recognized Thursday were officers who found Winslow unconscious in the woods and the dispatcher who kept things together from the time they heard "officer down."
Winslow had been on the force for two and a half years at the time he was attacked. He's on half day duty for now and he and his wife are expecting a baby.