GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids police officer who hit a fleeing murder suspect with his cruiser on US-131 late last year received a high honor from the department for his efforts.
Grand Rapids Police Officer Todd Wuis was among the officers responding as suspect Adam Nolin led police on a chase on US-131 southbound in September.
Nolin is suspected of killing his girlfriend and was refusing to stop for officers. After the truck Nolin was driving came to a stop on the highway, Nolin continued his run from justice and increased the violence. He jumped from the truck and began firing at officers.
Seconds later, Wuis made his move. He hit Nolin with his cruiser, sending him flying into the air before landing on the edge of the highway.
“He wasn’t going to give up,” Wuis said of what he was thinking at the time. “This is a life-and-death situation right here going on.”
Wuis, an 18-year veteran of the department, shared his experience for the first time publicly in an interview with 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday.
“Things get real, really quick,” Wuis said. “I didn’t really make a decision. I just reacted to the situation.”
Last week, the Grand Rapids Police Department honored Wuis with the highest award it gives to living officers: the Police Medal.
Wuis shared the credit.
“A huge, huge honor,” Wuis said. “A lot of people in motion that helped end this situation.”
Wuis said it took him time to come down from the adrenaline rush after the incident. He then began to second-guess himself, wondering if his actions were justified. Immediately, he said, his comrades calmed his fears.
Wuis said seeing videos of the incident helped him process what happened.
“I just would hate to see what would have happened if he’d have actually gotten downtown,” Wuis said.
Wuis, a husband and father, got emotional when talking about the incident and the possibility that he could have been taken from his family in the confrontation.
“You don’t talk about it a ton,” Wuis said as his eyes welled up. “So, yeah.”
Wuis took five weeks off of work to allow the investigation to continue and to process what happened personally. He said he never doubted that he’d return to the streets as a police officer.
“It’s fun for me to get out there and be able to help people catch the bad guys,” Wuis said. “I still enjoy it.”
The suspect Nolin is headed to trial on the murder charge. He faces the possibility of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Wuis now joins a hallowed list of officers at GRPD for his role in an incident that those involved won’t soon forget.
“I said, ‘This is something that happens in California,’ when I watch that video. This is not here,” Wuis said. “But it can happen here. … It goes to show it can and it does happen sometimes.”