Robbery victim Lee Ann Tracey hugs Thomas Hensel (left) as  William Mabrey looks at his outstanding citizen award. (Photo courtesy of Marie Halapin)
Robbery victim Lee Ann Tracey hugs Thomas Hensel (left) as William Mabrey looks at his outstanding citizen award. (Photo courtesy of Marie Halapin)

Two southern York County friends who sprang into action when they saw a mugger attacking a woman in Glen Rock last month have been honored by police.

"They went above and beyond," Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington said of Thomas Hensel and William Mabrey. "They not only rescued her, they subdued him."

The chief said he invited the men to attend Wednesday night's meeting of the police commission so he could recognize them for their actions.

"They got Outstanding Citizen awards," he said. "This was my way of saying thanks."

Also there to honor the men was Lee Ann Tracey, the Glen Rock-area woman who on Aug. 17 was physically assaulted by the mugger when she struggled with him over her purse.

Patrick Dent
Patrick Dent

"She gave them each a hug and thanked them," Boddington said. "And everyone there applauded them."

The robbery: Police said Patrick Allen Dent — a convicted child molester — approached Tracey from behind in the first block of Baltimore Street and tried to grab her purse. It happened shortly before 2:30 p.m.

Tracey, 44, held on to her purse, at which point Dent started punching her in the ribs, Boddington said.

Dent was overpowering her when Hensel and Mabrey saw the attack as they were driving away from a nearby pizza shop.

"They stopped their truck, jumped out and came to her aid," the chief said. "They adjusted his attitude a bit and held him on the ground until officers arrived."


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A couple of local firefighters also saw what was going on and ran over to help the men, who had already wrestled Dent to the ground, Boddington said.

Tracey suffered minor injuries.

"Her physical injures weren't that severe, but it was a traumatic experience for her," the chief said. "She was shaken."

'Do something': Boddington wants to encourage citizens to get involved when they see a crime — "not necessarily physically involved, but they should at least call for help or do something," he said.

Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington presents Thomas Hensel (left) and William Mabrey (center) with Outstanding Citizen awards for stopping a
Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington presents Thomas Hensel (left) and William Mabrey (center) with Outstanding Citizen awards for stopping a mugger who assaulted a woman last month in Glen Rock. (Photo courtesy of Marie Halapin)

"In this day and age, too many people don't get involved," he said.

Dent, 34, of 18417 York Road in Parkton, Md., remains in York County Prison on $150,000 bail, charged with robbery, simple assault, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

Other charges: At the time of the robbery, he had been free on bail in two pending York County court cases for which he is charged with drunken driving, drug-dealing and theft, according to court records.

In 2006, a York County judge sentenced Dent to four to eight years in state prison for having sex with a child.

He plied girls with alcohol at underage drinking parties and had sex with a 13-year-old girl, according to police.

Dent eventually pleaded guilty to felony counts of statutory sexual assault, and related offenses.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.