Cpl. Michael Malonis was patrolling Hilton Head Island in January when he spotted a black pickup truck matching the description of an armed robber's getaway vehicle.
He pulled up alongside the vehicle to check out the driver. The driver resembled a robber who, just days earlier at South Forest Beach, had held a pistol to a man's head while stealing his wallet.
When Malonis stopped the truck, the driver jumped out and ran. Malonis was close behind and, after a short chase, arrested the suspect, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
It was the second armed robber Malonis helped apprehend in less than six months. The other was in August, when he caught a suspect accused of holding up a gas station near Bluffton.
For those quick actions, Malonis was honored by the Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island as its Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Since joining the Sheriff's Office less than two years ago, the U.S. Marine Corps veteran has worked patrol and also served as a field-training officer and dive-team member.
The club gives awards each year to security and law enforcement officers in southern Beaufort County.
Bonnie Smalls Dupree, who has provided security at the Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa for more than 20 years, also was recognized this year.
According to Westin director of security William Cox Jr., Dupree frequently goes "beyond the line of duty."
In one instance that Cox recalled, Dupree jumped in front of a car driven by an elderly man who was backing out of a parking space dangerously close to his wife. Dupree also apprehended a Westin employee for stealing after noticing the employee dealing with items that were not part of the job description, Cox said.
Both officers were given their awards at a luncheon Feb. 29 at Sea Pines Country Club.