Trooper Chuck Warren
Charles D. “Chuck” Warren joined the Utah Highway Patrol to help people. Like most troopers, he had numerous occasions to help. One of Chuck’s greatest memories occurred on September 2, 1965. Chuck was on patrol in Utah County when he received a call that a woman was in labor at a farmhouse in Mona. The valley was dead-locked in one of the worst snow storms of the year. Chuck later recalled, “I went to the farmhouse and was met by an elderly lady. She said she was sure glad that someone was there who knew what they were doing. I thought, ‘Lady, if you just knew.’”
“I put the pregnant woman in the back seat and headed for the Nephi hospital. When I got to Mona Main Street, the dispatcher said the doctor couldn’t be located, to head for Payson. So I turned around and headed north.”
“I was again called to cancel Payson, they’d located the doctor in Nephi. So around I went and headed south.” Within a few miles the weather became worse. Trooper Warren radioed dispatch that he would have to continue to the Payson Hospital. About that time, the pregnant lady started screaming that the baby was coming. Chuck pulled over to the side of the road and promptly delivered not one, but two babies. He later said, “I had arrested a drunk the night before and had a bottle of his whiskey under the seat of the car. I washed my hands in it to sterilize them and then washed my pocket knife off. I tied the cords and cut them.” Nineteen years later, on September 25, 1984, these twin boys visited Trooper Warren shortly before they left on missions for the LDS Church.
On September 2, 1969, Trooper Warren saw a suspicious vehicle northbound on I-15 at Spanish Fork. He ran a check on the license plate. His suspicions were confirmed when the dispatcher broadcast that the vehicle was stolen out of California. Chuck called for backup and continued to follow the vehicle. The stolen vehicle exited the freeway and headed toward 400 South, Springville. Springville Patrolman Floyd Duke arrived and assisted Trooper Warren in stopping this felon.
Trooper Warren unsnapped his .357 magnum revolver and began walking toward the stolen vehicle. The driver looked at Patrolman Duke and then turned suddenly and fired. Chuck was struck twice in the head. Patrolman Duke returned fire into the windshield of the stolen vehicle. Trooper Clair Rasmussen arrived to see Chuck go down. The driver of the stolen vehicle fled south into a corn field in a hail of gunfire from Trooper Rasmussen. Trooper Lawrence Clark arrived shortly thereafter and joined Trooper Rasmussen in searching for the suspect. A passenger in the stolen vehicle was arrested without incident.
Trooper Doug Staheli and Utah Fish and Game Officer Bob Tasker, tracked the suspect for the next three hours. The suspect was again spotted and fled in a hail of gunfire. Although the suspect fell, wounded with shotgun pellets, his wounds were not serious. He had been struck in the hand and in the back, .
Chuck was in a coma for two months. Doctors were only able to remove a small portion of one of the bullets. A steel plate was inserted to repair massive bone damage. Elder Thomas S. Monson, one of the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, administered to Chuck. It was truly a miracle that Chuck lived. When Chuck came out of the coma, he could not speak, his entire left side and lower extremities were paralyzed. Over the next several weeks, his speech slowly returned. Chuck was allowed to come home for a few days during Christmas 1969. As the ambulance, which carried Trooper Warren, crossed the Point of the Mountain, Chuck picked up the radio microphone and called, “82 Provo, 10-8 south.”
Governor Calvin L. Rampton worked for passage of a special bill which allowed Chuck to continue to serve as a member of the Utah Highway Patrol. It was affectionately known as the Chuck Warren law. That law is still in effect today, which makes it possible for any state trooper, who is 100 percent disabled through a criminal act by means of a deadly weapon, to receive full compensation until the retirement age of 62 years.
Confined to a wheel chair and paralyzed, Chuck would not give up. Trooper Warren continued to monitor a police scanner. He knew all the police officers by name and would call UHP dispatch daily to keep in touch. Chuck continued to write in his police log. He once wrote, “I am now receiving therapy in my home with lots of hope that someday, I will be able to serve my State in some way. I feel that I am not permanently 10-7 and will not be until they put me in the ground.”
Trooper Chuck Warren retired from the Patrol on December 29, 1987, after more than 31 years of service. He was immediately appointed a member of the Honorary Colonels Association. He was awarded the Department of Public Safety Purple Heart in November 1992. Chuck died on May 16, 1994, and was buried with full military and police honors. At his funeral Sergeant Les Langford read the Trooper’s Lament.