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Community, fellow officers pay respect to La Paz County Sgt. Michael Rudd

Sgt. Michael Rudd tribute
Procession for Sgt. Michael Rudd
Posted at 9:26 PM, Oct 13, 2021

PARKER, AZ — On Wednesday, a procession guided the body of La Paz County Deputy Sgt. Michael Rudd back to Arizona.

Sgt. Rudd is now back with his brothers and sisters within the La Paz County Sheriff's Office, back to friends and family, and the community he served.

Sgt. Michael Rudd

"I know it's hurting every single one of us but together, we will make it through this," said Sheriff William Ponce with the La Paz County Sheriff's Office.

The La Paz County Sheriff's Office went to Indio, California, on Wednesday to pick up Sgt. Rudd from a coroner's office there.

Sgt. Rudd was taken to a hospital in that area after being hit by a passing semi-truck on Monday. Investigators say Sgt. Rudd had just finished chasing a vehicle on Interstate 10 when the crash happened.

The procession then traveled back to Parker, Arizona, where they were greeted by many paying their respects.

Procession for Sgt. Michael Rudd

"One of those lifetime individuals that you'll meet, that will leave a mark in your heart," said Cpl. Hilario Tanakeyowma with the Quartzsite Police Department.

Law enforcement agencies from all over the state assisted in escorting Sgt. Rudd. Those who worked beside him, day in and day out, were there by his side again.

"He was definitely a traffic guy, but I think he could get any situation thrown at him and he would know what to do. So, he was just one of those guys and I'm so glad I got to learn in his footsteps," said Deputy Aaron Phoenix with the La Paz County Sheriff's Office.

For some, Sgt. Rudd is the reason they are where they're at now in their careers.

"He's taught me a lot. He pretty much took me under his wing from day one of deputy and ran with it," said Deputy Phoenix.

"I think that's one thing of his... determination and drive for the job made me reinvigorate myself with it again," said Cpl. Tanakeyowma.

Sgt. Rudd also served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force before his career in law enforcement.

"Rudd was good at his job. No doubt in my mind, Rudd was good at his job," said Cpl. Tanakeyowma.

Sgt. Rudd died doing what he loved.