St. Charles names Deputy of the Year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 3, 2010

St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne recently announced Deputy James Grimaldi has been named 2009 Deputy of the Year.

On Nov. 5, 2009, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported automobile crash on Airline Highway in St. Rose, where the vehicle had run off of the roadway and was immersed in a canal.

Grimaldi was the first to respond to the accident and located a white automobile immersed nose down in the middle of the canal with only the back of the roof and trunk exposed above water and the occupants sitting on the roof of the vehicle. Grimaldi attempted to calm the subjects because none of them knew how to swim. Grimaldi then advised dispatch that he was “making entry.” He then jumped into the canal and swam to the car, where he made contact with a mother and her two children, ages 11 and 9. Grimaldi swam with the 11-year-old on his back to the shoulder of Airline Highway. He then returned to the vehicle to rescue the 9-year-old, who he also carried on his back and swam with to safety. Grimaldi returned to the car a third time with the assistance of a St. Rose volunteer fireman and rescued the mother.

Grimaldi, who serves as a deputy in the Patrol Division, has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2006.