- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 22, 2002

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) Early on the morning of Oct. 24, state Trooper Chris Paschal took up a position a few yards away from two of the most-wanted men on the planet.
Then he waited.
"I've never been so anxious in my whole life," Trooper Paschal said, describing the hours spent preparing to arrest the Washington area sniper suspects after they were found sleeping in their car at a Myersville rest stop.
"It was a three-hour adrenaline rush, the ride of a lifetime," Trooper Paschal said. "Once I got home, I thought, 'Oh my God, we just caught the snipers.'"
Trooper Paschal and other troopers were honored Wednesday for their role in capturing sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo. Authorities have linked the two to 19 shootings, including 13 deaths, in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District.
Trooper Robert Royer, who works in Frederick County, was one of the first to respond to the 911 call that a car matching the description of a vehicle sought by investigators had been seen at the Interstate 70 rest area. When he arrived, Trooper Royer said he became convinced that the car matched the description but that at first he and other troopers could see only one suspect inside.
"I was very antsy," Trooper Royer said.
State Police Superintendent Col. David B. Mitchell, who will soon be replaced by Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward Norris, said the fact that only one suspect was spotted made things tense.
"They saw one, but where's the other?" Col. Mitchell said to troopers gathered in the gym of the State Police headquarters. "Is the other one out there in the woods? And the place was surrounded with woods. You wait, knowing these people have already killed at least 10 people, knowing there's a high-powered rifle with a scope and that they know how to use it. Without doubt, these troopers acted with the greatest courage."
After the arrest, Trooper Rob Draskovic said he drove for 30 minutes in silence to Rockville with Mr. Muhammad in the back of his car.
"I've been doing this for 19 years," Trooper Draskovic said. "It's one of those things where you had to remain calm and professional and do what had to be done. This one was unique, but this is what we do."
Gov.-elect Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who will be inaugurated Jan. 15, announced Friday that Commissioner Norris will be the new superintendent of the State Police.

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