Proos, Schuitmaker honor local good Samaritans for aiding state trooper

LANSING, Mich.Sen. John Proos and Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker on Wednesday paid tribute to good Samaritans Jerry Burnham of Berrien Springs and Keith Pepple of Plainwell for coming to the aid of a state trooper under attack.

“Without regard for their own safety, Burnham and Pepple came to the aid of Michigan State Police Trooper Garry Guild. As a result of their bravery, the attackers were apprehended and, more importantly, no one was injured,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Our law enforcement officials put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and communities. It is an honor to pay tribute these gentleman who reciprocated that generosity.”

On Feb. 20, Trooper Guild’s pursuit of a fleeing motorcyclist resulted in two men attacking the officer on the side of a road. Upon witnessing the altercation, Burnham and Pepple stopped their vehicles and came to the aid of Trooper Guild. They stopped one assailant from choking the trooper and held back the other until the trooper could gain control of the suspects and place them under arrest. In May, the motorcyclist was found guilty on six counts, including assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.

“We are fortunate to have citizens of such a high caliber who are willing to put their own safety at risk for the benefit of others,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “Keith and Jerry risked their lives without hesitation, and we will be forever grateful.”

Proos presented Burnham with a special tribute signed by Proos; Rep. Dave Pagel, R-Berrien Springs; U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph; Lt. Gov. Brian Calley; and Gov. Rick Snyder.

Schuitmaker presented Pepple with a special tribute signed by Schuitmaker; Rep. Mary Whiteford, R-Casco Township; Upton; Calley; and Snyder.


Editor’s note: Video of the Senate floor presentation is available by clicking here or by visiting

Dashcam video of the attack and Burnham and Pepple coming to Guild’s aid is available by clicking here.

The above photo is available by clicking on the image or by visiting or