WASHINGTON - Two brothers from Maryland were honored Monday for saving a man's life in Northwest D.C.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham gave Thaddeus and Steve Dmuchowski the Chief of Police Special Award after they intervened in a 2013 stabbing and ended up getting stabbed themselves.
According to a police report, it was around 3 a.m. on Nov. 2 when the suspect and his wife started arguing in their moving car on 23rd Street near P Street. Police say the suspect got out and the car coasted down 23rd Street and rear-ended another vehicle. The suspect began fighting with the driver of that car, pulled a knife and stabbed him.
Thaddeus and Steve said they were leaving work when they saw the crash and fight, and wanted to try to help.
"We didn't realize that he had a knife until I started bleeding," Thaddeus said. "I kind of got in between the two parties and when [my brother] saw me bleeding, he yelled, 'Blood!' He got involved trying to put him in a sleeper hold; that's when he got stabbed. And we didn't realize it until it was too late that there was a knife involved."
Thaddeus showed FOX 5 the scars on his forearm, shoulder and hip. He said he needed 60 stitches. Steve was stabbed near his left ribs and on the side of his face. He said the knife went through his ear and into his ear canal. Because his nerves were damaged, he has lost movement to part of his face.
Despite their injuries, the brothers held down the suspect until police arrived.
"When we realized we were both bleeding, we put him on the ground and just held him there until the police and fire showed up," Thaddeus said.
FOX 5 asked if they would think twice about intervening again if someone needed help.
"Absolutely not," said Thaddeus. "We did what we should have done in the first place and what everyone should do. And that's when they see something happening, try to defuse it to the best of their abilities. Unfortunately, we ended up on the wrong end of a knife, but that doesn't always happen."
The brothers brought their daughters to the recognition event Monday at police headquarters. They said it happened now because the suspect in the case recently pleaded guilty.
After the ceremony, Chief Newsham tweeted that the brothers heroic actions likely saved a life. Steve and Thaddeus said they never got to meet that man, but they would still like to one day.