TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A secretary at Topeka Public School's Linn Educational Center who helped capture a man suspected of killing an eight-year old girl is this month's Champion of Character.
Maria Rodriguez received the honor Wednesday from Safe Streets and the City of Character program.
In March, she refused to let a suspicious-looking man into the school and spoke with police about him.
Rodriguez says she was just doing her job.
"I was friendly to him but assertive," she said. "He did kind of persist for a little bit but he took no for an answer and left the building. I observed where he went and got a call from security. They let me know there was a murder suspect in the area and I let them know, 'I think he'd already been in my building.'"
Thanks to her useful directions and description, police were able to capture Billy Davis, who's charged in the death of highland park central student Ahliyah Irvin.
Rodriguez was nominated by USD 501 Communications Director Ron Harbaugh, who believes she demonstrated the character quality of initiative.