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Teen honored for courage

GLENSFALLS-Fourteen months ago, teenager Ashley LaPoint had her face smashed against the floor and had been stabbed several times by a career criminal.

Under the threat of impending death, she had the foresight and presence to tell the attacker the crime could be portrayed to police as a burglary, with the man pretending to be one of the victims - after asking him to let her live to get through high school.

This savvy response, under extreme duress, saved her and her mother's life, law enforcement officers have said.

The two victims of the Jan. 2010 attack in Lake George, Ashley and Debra LaPoint, were presented with the annual Courage Award Monday during a ceremonial breakfast at the Queensbury Hotel in observance of Crime Victims' Week.

The attacker, Christopher J. Daniels, was convicted last summer of Attempted Murder and Assault, and is serving a 52-54 year prison sentence.

The LaPoints were honored at the Monday event, along with police officers, Warren County Public Works employees and several others.

Event emcee Warren County District Attorney Kate Hogan praised Ashley for her courage during the attack, and her resilience and strength during Daniels' trial.

"This young woman had the intelligence and ability to advocate for her survival that just amazes me," Hogan said.

Her mother Debra dabbed tears from her eyes as Hogan talked about her daughter's courage.

Ashley accepted the award, but modestly deferred credit to Warren County Patrol Officer Erik Mazzeo. He had responded to the incident, assessed what had actually happened, and held Daniels at gunpoint until help arrived, while getting the LaPoints to safety.

Debra LaPoint looked at her daughter, garbed in a prom dress monday for the occasion.

"Thank the lord I still have my daughter and best friend - that she's still alive," she said, choking back tears.

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