He may not be a Marine of large stature, but Staff Sgt. Esteban Rosas, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Recruiting Substation St. Cloud, Recruiting Station Twin Cities, proved to have the heart of a lion.
Earlier this summer, while on liberty, Rosas assisted the St. Cloud police department in taking down a fleeing suspect. Rosas recently received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his superior moral courage, initiative and physical endurance in running down the suspect.
On the evening of July 17, Rosas and his family were driving when they witnessed a man running from a police officer. The police report cited that the man was acting drunk and disorderly and suspected of being underage.
Staff Sgt. Esteban Rosas, RSS St. Cloud SNCOIC, RS Twin Cities, recently received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his heroic actions in helping apprehend a fleeing suspect from police capture.
“I saw that the cop, with all his gear, was losing a bead on him,” said Rosas, a 13-year veteran of the Corps. “(The suspect) was just running right by people, college students and young people, and nobody was doing anything to stop him.”
The Oxnard, Calif., native decided he would do what he could to help the police officer. He whipped his car into a parking spot and launched into a 25-meter dead sprint after the suspect.
Despite being overmatched by about eight inches and 25 pounds, the 5-foot 2-inch Rosas, closed the gap on the suspect and did his best professional football player impression.
“I figured if I was going to bring him down, I might as well tackle him hard,” he said.
The Marine ordnance chief jumped and tackled the man.
“I never actually went to the ground, but he hit the pavement pretty hard.”
Shortly thereafter, the police officer caught back up and, as the suspect attempted to flee again, tasered the young man.
Rosas stayed on the scene to ensure the situation was under control and helped put the young man in the squad car.
In a message sent to the RS Twin Cities commanding officer, the St. Cloud police officers on the scene said if it were not for the quick actions, clear thinking and professional decision-making by Rosas, the suspect would have most likely escaped.
“In the 15 years that I’ve been a Marine, Staff Sgt. Rosas is one of the most professional Marines I’ve ever met,” said Gunnery Sgt Michael Soucy, Rosas’s former SNCOIC at RSS St. Cloud.
Soucy said if the police department had not alerted Marine officials to Rosas’s good deed, they would not have ever known.
“He’s confident, but very humble,” Soucy said.
Rosas has been on recruiting duty for more than two years. In October, Rosas took over the duties as SNCOIC of RSS St. Cloud, which was named the fiscal year 2007 RS Twin Cities substation of the year.
“He was a natural fit for his maturity and decision-making,” said Capt. Earlie Walker, RS Twin Cities operations officer. Staff Sgt. Rosas was the key to our success last year,” said Soucy. “I’m very happy that he has been recognized. He’ll always take the time to help anyone in need.”