Texas Game Warden Teyran “Ty” Patterson was posthumously awarded the Memorial Cross by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials in Austin on Aug. 16.
Patterson lost his life on May 30 while participating in a search and rescue operation for Courtney Butler, 17, of Stephenville. Butler drowned in the Paluxy River during an outing with friends. Her body was recovered several days later.
According to Erath County Game Warden Tony Navarro, Patterson is credited with saving the life of his partner, Game Warden Danny Tuggle, who was briefly hospitalized after the boat carrying the pair capsized. Witnesses said Tuggle was struggling in the water when Patterson saved him.
Patterson was then pulled under by the strong current and drowned.
Navarro said the department also awarded Patterson the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife, “Officer of the Year,” and was inducted into the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.
Navarro said Patterson was also featured on a television show entitled “Most Wanted” recently during an episode dedicated to fallen officers.
“Ty Patterson was an outstanding officer,” Navarro said. “He was always willing to help out and he never said no. He was always there when you needed him.”
Navarro said Patterson had helped out during deer season in Erath County.
Information for this article was supplemented by an article in the Cleburne Times Review.
ANGELIA JOINER is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 965-3124,ext. 238