Two correctional officers on National Guard duty pluck a man stranded on his pickup in the midst of raging floodwaters and pull him to safety.....another CDC employee runs through flames to rescue a woman trapped in a fiery inferno....and an officer risks his own life to save the life of an inmate. The Department of Corrections (CDC) recognized these and other employee heroics at the annual Medal of Valor Ceremony, held today at 12 noon on the West steps of the State Capitol.
CDC honored 44 of its employees for acts of heroism and outstanding service while on duty and in the community. The employees--men and women, peace officer and civilian--were selected from more than 100 nominees from facilities throughout the state.
Youth and Correctional Agency Secretary Quintin Villanueva, Jr. and CDC Director C. A. Terhune presented the heroism medals and an award for Correctional Supervisor of the Year.
During the ceremony, Sacramento television news reporters Lisa Breckenridge, KCRA-TV; Christina Mendonsa, KXTV-TV; and Diana Penna, KOVR-TV; narrated details of the acts that earned the medals.
A summary of the individual actions and awards received is attached. Additional information may be obtained from the public information officer at the prison listed or from the CDC Communications Office.
MEDAL OF VALOR
The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.
Correctional Officer James J. Moore, California State Prison, Sacramento and Correctional Officer Arthur Laguna, Folsom State Prison
On January 2, 1997, Correctional Officers James J. Moore and Arthur Laguna reported for duty with the Army National Guard Reserve, 126th Air Ambulance Search and Rescue division, instead of going to their regular jobs with the California State Prison, Sacramento, and Folsom State Prison. On this day, Officers Moore and Laguna were being sent on a mission of mercy, to seek out and aid the scores of citizens endangered by widespread flooding throughout the state.
Around 2 that afternoon, Officer Laguna and his helicopter crew spotted a man stranded on top of his pickup truck surrounded by deep, raging floodwaters near Wilton, in Sacramento County. High voltage electric lines loomed nearby. Despite the clear danger involved, Officer Laguna hovered the chopper above the trapped man as Officer Moore hooked himself to the chopper’s winch and was lowered 125 feet to the truck below. Officer Laguna held the aircraft in place as heavy winds and rain buffeted the helicopter. Officer Moore was tossed about as he dropped through the rain, past electric lines, treetops and barbed wire fences. He reached the truck just as floodwaters were cresting over the top of the cab. The victim jumped onto Officer Moore and held on for dear life. The added weight pulled the helicopter down and plunged both men into the swirling waters. Officer Laguna quickly maneuvered the helicopter back up and hoisted the men to safety.
Both Officer Laguna and Officer Moore displayed remarkable courage and dedication in the face of great danger, and risked their lives to save another. They exemplify the highest standards of professionalism and bravery and are to be commended for their deeds.
Michael Rose, Licensed Psychiatric Technician, California State Prison, Sacramento
As he drove to work early on the morning of December 11, 1997, Michael Rose suddenly came upon a nightmare spread out before him on Interstate 5. Through the dense fog, Rose could see cars and big rig trucks erupting into flames in a giant pile-up on the heavily traveled road.
Rose immediately jumped from his car and ran from car to car looking for anyone trapped in the inferno. He found one car with two people still inside. Ignoring the flames that licked around the car, Rose grabbed Ms. Nancy Maglinte from her car and pulled her to safety. He went back to the car but found it fully engulfed in flames. Although the remaining occupant perished in the inferno, Rose extricated Ms. Maglinte and rendered first aid that saved her life.
Michael Rose is being honored today for putting the life of another before his own and responding with great courage and compassion.
Marc Bautista, Account Clerk II, Central California Women’s Facility
On October 13, 1997, Marc Bautista was driving home after work when he spotted smoke coming out of the windows of a mobile home. When he found he didn’t have his cell phone, he stopped at the nearest pay phone and called 911. When the 911 dispatcher asked if there was anyone inside the mobile home, Bautista volunteered to go back and check. By the time he got back, smoke and flames were pouring out the front windows and the fire appeared to have engulfed the entire structure. He checked twice but could not locate a man believed to be inside the home. The local fire department arrived, but when a firefighter was ordered not to reenter the burning home because he wasn’t wearing the right breathing equipment, Marc Bautista ignored the advice. He charged back into the inferno, found the man inside, and dragged him out to safety.
Were it not for Mr. Bautista’s courage and disregard for his own safety, the man inside the mobile home would have died.
Correctional Sergeant Daniel E. Crichton, Mule Creek State Prison
On March 4, 1997, Sergeant Crichton was driving home after a long shift at Mule Creek State Prison when he saw the car behind him swerve off the road and hit a tree. Crichton stopped his car and ran back to find the car had landed upside. Smoke and flames were pouring out from under the hood. Inside the car, the driver was hanging upside down, suspended by his seatbelt.
Ignoring the smoke that was filling the passenger compartment, Sergeant Crichton climbed into the car and cut through the seatbelt straps with the only tool he had, a small pocketknife. As flames were licking at the car’s interior, Sergeant Crichton pulled the driver from behind the wheel and out to safety. The victim was Raymond Schartau, Chief of Police for the City of Ione. When Schartau’s police car burst into flame, ammunition for the vehicle’s secured shotgun ignited and rounds began exploding inside the car. Crichton had pulled the Chief out just in time.
Were it not for Sergeant Crichton’s quick thinking and heroic actions, it is unlikely that Chief Schartau would have survived the crash and ensuing fire.
The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the Department’s second highest award for heroic deeds under extra-ordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.
Carl Vincent Novak, Supervisor of Academic Instruction, High Desert State Prison
In the early morning hours of April 10, 1997, Carl Novak was driving to work at High Desert State Prison when he spotted flames in the home next door. He ran back into his house and told his son to call 911 and alert the other neighbors.
Novak returned to the house next door and tried to wake his elderly neighbor, Ms. Marion Bunnell, who lived alone. He beat on the front door, and when no one answered, he began beating on the sides of the house. At last he heard a faint "Okay" from inside and ran back to open the front door. When he opened the door, he found Ms. Bunnell standing there. He grabbed her, pulled her from the burning structure, and took her to his house next door. After trying to calm the woman, he went back to rescue her animals, but the house was fully involved and the flames and heat kept Novak from going in.
Although the fire took the lives of Ms. Bunnell’s pets, and destroyed her home, she survived--thanks to her heroic and courageous neighbor, Carl Novak.
Correctional Officers Marion C. Beatty and David Kowalczyk, Mule Creek State Prison
It was a cold, wet, November day when Officers Marion C. Beatty and David Kowalczyk drove an inmate to Modesto for a medical appointment. As they were returning to Mule Creek State Prison just before noon, a car coming the other way ran off the road onto the shoulder, swung back onto the road, and crossed over the double yellow line. As it swerved into the oncoming lane, the car slammed head-on into the car behind Officer Beatty driven by their supervisor Sergeant Crichton. (This is the same Sergeant Crichton who just received the Medal of Valor.)
Officers Beatty and Kowalczyk responded immediately. Beatty tried to call 911, but couldn’t get through. Both men ran back to the crash. Beatty forced open the jammed driver’s door and found the Sergeant’s leg pinned under the steering wheel and dashboard. A crackling sound coming from the engine compartment and under the floorboard warned the two men to work quickly. They finally yanked the injured driver out and pulled him a few feet from the car.
Beatty grabbed the fire extinguisher from his car and radioed the prison for help. He ran to Crichton’s car and tried to extinguish the fire. He grabbed the shotgun and ammunition from the car and locked them in his trunk. Officer Kowalczyk covered Sergeant Crichton with a blanket and went to help the other driver, who was having trouble breathing. He found the man’s inhaler and placed it in his hand. As the car continued to burn, Kowalczyk and Betty pulled both victims back from the fire.
Were it not for the brave actions of these two men, it is quite likely that Sergeant Crichton would have died in his burning car.
Officer Mark Anthony Redondo, Pleasant Valley State Prison
As Fresno police officer James Conrad was responding to a silent hold-up alarm, a car pulled out in front of him. He swerved and slammed on his brakes, but his car skidded sideways into a tree, trapping him inside.
Correctional Officer Mark Redondo was driving by just as Conrad’s car slammed into the tree. Redondo ran to the burning car and found Officer Conrad pinned between the seat and the car’s computer panel. His pants were on fire, and flames were quickly spreading up his legs. Redondo, with the help of several bystanders, pulled Conrad from his car. Redondo then administered first aid until the paramedics arrived.
Although Officer Conrad was seriously injured in the accident, he is now back at work with the Fresno Police Department. Had Officer Redondo not responded without regard for his own safety, it is likely that Officer Conrad would have sustained even more serious injuries, or lost his life, in the burning car.
The Corrections Star (Silver) medal is the Department’s third highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish him/herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.
Correctional Officer Thomas Dennie, California Institution for Men
When he left work shortly after midnight on January 18, 1997, Officer Thomas Dennie stopped at a gas station on his way home. As he was putting gas in the car, he spotted two men running out of the gas station office, with a station employee chasing them. The employee yelled that he had just been robbed.
Dennie grabbed his off-duty weapon and chased the two men around the building and ordered them to halt. They stopped and Dennie detained them until law enforcement arrived. He gave deputies a description of two other suspects who were waiting outside the station and fled in their car when they spotted Dennie. The sheriff’s deputies left the first two suspects in Dennie’s custody while they pursued the other suspects. Police caught the other two men, and took all four of them to jail. Dennie went home to find his wife in labor, and went to the hospital to await the birth of his son.
Thanks to Officer Dennie’s quick thinking and unhesitant response, four suspects were arrested and charged with armed robbery. Without Dennie’s brave and decisive response, the men might have succeeded in their crime.
Correctional Officer David M. Chambers, California Medical Facility
On January 15, 1997, Counselor L. McNeil was locking her office door in the housing unit designed for those mentally ill inmates who are often victims of predatory inmates. As McNeil stepped out of her office, an inmate came up behind her, pushed her into her office, grabbed her and started stabbing her in her face with a fork. Officer Chambers heard Counselor McNeil scream and rushed to her aid.
Chambers found the inmate stabbing McNeil and pounding her with both hands. Chambers tried to restrain the inmate by wrapping his arms around the man, but the inmate continued to attack McNeil. Chambers let go with one hand and punched the inmate in the head until he released his victim. Chambers then wrestled the inmate to the ground and held him there until other staff could restrain him.
Officer Chambers’ quick reaction and his willingness to put his personal safety in jeopardy to save the life of a fellow employee are being honored here today.
Carrie Crickette, Office Technician, California State Prison, Los Angeles County
Last October, Correctional Officer Julie Buelna and her 14-year old daughter, Dana, were driving through an intersection in their Ford Explorer when a car driven by two young men ran a stop sign and slammed into them at high speed. The impact hurled the Explorer through the air. The crumpled car came to rest on its side, with both women still inside.
Office Technician Carrie Crickette was the first person to arrive at the accident. She ran to the aid of the passengers and found Officer Buelna unconscious, her head drooped at an unnatural angle. Ms. Crickette immediately recognized the danger this posed to the victim, and she cradled Julie’s head with both of her hands. When the victim regained consciousness, Ms. Crickette comforted her and urged her to remain calm and still. She continued to hold Julie’s head immobile for more than 45 minutes, until medical personnel arrived.
The quick thinking and immediate action by Ms. Crickette to prevent further injury proved to be fortuitous, because the victim’s neck was broken. Had Ms. Crickette not prevented her from moving her neck, Officer Buelna could have died.
Correctional Sergeant Todd Hinrichs, California State Prison, Sacramento
Shortly after lunch on one of the prison’s main exercise yards, a group of inmates began fighting. The tower officer ordered all the inmates on the yard to drop to the ground. Although most inmates complied, some kept fighting.
When Sergeant Hinrichs responded to the disturbance, he saw a group of inmates chasing another inmate. Hinrichs ordered the inmate to the ground, and when the inmate refused, he shot a burst of O.C. pepper spray in the inmate’s face. The Sergeant then grabbed the inmate around his torso and eased him to the ground. Just then another inmate stormed towards the downed inmate and kicked him in the face. Sergeant Hinrichs stood over the downed inmate, trying hard to protect him against the repeated assaults. Another officer forced the assaulting inmate to the ground when yet another inmate charged toward Hinrichs and the first downed inmate. The inmate jumped onto the downed inmate and the second inmate attacked again.
Sergeant Hinrichs stood his ground, doing everything he could to protect the inmate being attacked. As other inmates continued to battle in the yard, an inmate began stabbing the inmate Hinrichs was trying to protect. Sergeant Hinrichs continued struggling with the attacking inmate, and yelled to responding staff that the attacker had a knife. An officer finally forced the attacking inmate to the ground. Sergeant Hinrichs grabbed him and wrested the knife from him. Responding officers brought the rest of the inmates under control while Hinrichs continued to safeguard their intended victim.
When it was over, one of the 16 inmates involved in the melee was dead of a stab wound to the heart. Were it not for the quick and professional actions of Sergeant Hinrichs, the inmate he was protecting could well have been another fatality. The weapon Hinrichs took from the inmate turned out to be a 10-inch metal rod sharpened to a fine point--clearly a deadly weapon.
Sergeant Hinrichs is being honored today for his professional and heroic actions in an emergency and for saving an inmate’s life without regard for his own personal safety.
Monica Pricilla Jimenez, Medical Technical Assistant, Correctional Training Facility
On November 17, a tragedy occurred in the home of a correctional officer from the Correctional Training Facility. The officer’s young daughter was shot and killed by her brother at home when a loaded shotgun accidentally discharged.
When authorities called the prison to notify the mother, MTA Jimenez was notified as a member of the Negotiations Management Team. Jimenez took the mother to the nearest hospital where they expected to find the woman’s little girl. When they got there, the child was not there. Jimenez kept the mother calm. She asked the hospital to radio the paramedics to find out where the child had been taken. When she learned that the paramedics had not yet left the house, she took the mother there. She shielded the mother from the local news media who were already starting to gather at the home.
Jimenez finally convinced the mother to go to a friend’s house to stay. Jimenez and a correctional counselor from the prison returned to the family home after work and stayed until late in the evening, cleaning up the accident scene.
As a mother herself, Jimenez was deeply disturbed by the tragic accident. Nevertheless, she was able to focus all of her attention on the distraught and grieving mother. It was only later, while driving home, that the full impact of the day’s event emerged.
MTA Jimenez is being honored here today for actions above and beyond her duties as a medical technical assistant. Her compassion and dedication to her colleague deserve the highest praise and recognition.
Correctional Officer Gary R. Brommerich, Folsom State Prison
Correctional Officer Gary Brommerich was driving to work on Highway 65 last December when he saw fire, smoke and debris flying through the air in front of him. Just ahead of him a van towing a travel trailer had collided with a small red car.
Brommerich drove as close as possible, then got out and ran to the accident where he found the van driver still in his seat. Brommerich tried to free the hysterical man from his burning van, but the driver refused help. Brommerich had to abandon his efforts when the fire became too intense. He ran to a smaller car that was also on fire. With the help of others, he pulled open the jammed passenger door, removed the seat belt that was restraining a 9-year-old boy, and carried the boy from the burning car. Although Brommerich and another man performed CPR on the boy until emergency help arrived, he was declared dead at the scene. His mother, who had been at the wheel, was killed on impact.
Officer Brommerich is being honored today for disregarding his own safety in attempting to save the lives of others.
Correctional Officer Randall Sharp, Pelican Bay State Prison
As an officer in the prison housing some of the state’s most difficult inmates, Correctional Officer Randall Sharp is used to dealing with difficult situations. But on October 30 last year, Sharp faced a new challenge.
As he was escorting an inmate from the Facility A gymnasium to the medical clinic, they encountered two other inmates also waiting for a appointment. Without warning, one of the two inmates rushed towards Officer Sharp and the inmate he was escorting. Sharp quickly jumped between his inmate and the attacker who had a weapon. The attacker swung his arms and fists around Officer Sharp, trying to stab the inmate. Officer Sharp punched the attacker in the face, knocked him to the ground, and restrained him until other staff could help. He was also able to grab the weapon before anyone was hurt. The other inmate also tried to join in the attack but staff quickly subdued him.
Officer Sharp’s quick and decisive action clearly prevented serious injury or death to the inmate he was escorting and to others in the area. His bravery and selflessness epitomize the actions of a professional correctional officer.
Correctional Officer Alfanso Fitzroy Stevens, Salinas Valley State Prison
Even on his day off, Correctional Officer Alfanso Stevens displayed the courage of a true professional.
On May 1, 1997, Officer Stevens was getting his hair cut at the local barbershop in Seaside when he smelled something burning. He and another customer ran from the shop to a nearby alley where they found a man lying on the ground near a dumpster. Four-foot flames leapt from the man’s lower back all the way to his feet. Stevens ran back to the barbershop, told them to call 911, and quickly returned to the alley.
Stevens and the other man pulled the man’s clothing off, tried to strip the burning bedding from the area, and attempted to douse the fire. They did everything they could to save the man until the fire department and ambulance arrived.
Although the victim suffered third degree burns over 18 percent of his body, he is alive today thanks in part to the efforts of Officer Stevens. In his letter to the Warden of Salinas Valley State Prison, Seaside Police Chief David Butler said it best: "Had it not been for the quick action of Correctional Officer Stevens, the victim could have expired from his injuries." The chief nominated Officer Stevens for the Citizens Award for heroism.
William Whitney, Staff Services Manager I, Contract & Audit Management Branch
One evening last summer, Bill Whitney and a friend were kayaking down the rapids in Putah Creek, a tributary of Lake Berryessa. The rain-swollen creek was running fast and was full of dangerous debris. Bill and his friend pulled into shore and were scouting along the creek when they heard cries for help.
Two young women were clinging onto a submerged tree in the middle of the rapids, hanging on as the water swirled around them. They had already been stranded for almost an hour, and hypothermia was setting in. Their friends on shore were unable to reach them without risking their own lives.
Whitney immediately waded out into the creek, yelled to the women to hang on, and went back to shore for rope. Hanging onto the rope, Whitney had his friends secure it to a tree on shore and waded into the deadly current. He threw the rope to the women and urged them to tie it around themselves. It was getting dark, and he convinced the terrified women they would be swept downstream unless they let him help.
Whitney slowly pulled the women--one at a time--through the raging waters to safety. As he pulled, he had to brace himself carefully to avoid being pulled down by the current.
Were it not for Bill Whitney, these women probably would have drowned. We honor him today for his heroic and selfless act.
Parole Agent I Robert Story, Parole Region I
On a hot day last August, Parole Agent Robert Story stopped for an ice-cold soda at a local mini-mart. As he left the parking lot, he heard a loud crash and looked around. Just down the street he saw a large white car upside down, a cloud of smoke rising from the wreckage.
The overturned car was resting against a stand of trees, the engine compartment on fire, with flames starting to shoot up the trees. Later investigation showed the car had veered across several lanes of freeway traffic and an off-ramp, hit a berm, flipped over, rolled down an embankment and landed upside down.
Story rushed to the mangled, burning car and found the driver hanging upside down, suspended by the seat belts. The elderly man was unconscious and covered with blood. Story struggled to get the driver’s door open, but it wouldn’t budge. He went to the passenger side and struggled to pull open the twisted door. As the flames crept into the passenger compartment, Story finally pried open the door and unlatched the man’s seatbelt.
Story grabbed the man under his arms and dragged him to safety, away from the rapidly encroaching flames. As he was trying to find the man’s pulse, which was faint and slow, a violent explosion rocked the ground and flames engulfed the car. Story pulled the man back and went to work to re-open his airway until emergency help arrived.
Although the victim did not survive the horrific accident, Parole Agent Story is being honored today for attempting to save another human being from certain death, risking his own life to do so.
Parole Agent I Ryan Gigliotti and Parole Agent I Henry Lopez, Parole Region III
One morning last September, Parole Agents Ryan Gigliotti and Henry Lopez went to check on a parolee at his home in Los Angeles. The parolee opened the door, let the agents in, and sat down while they talked to him and looked around the house.
While he was looking around, Agent Gigliotti saw something on the desk that looked like drugs. When he asked the parolee about it, the man said the drugs belonged to his girlfriend. The parolee went to the desk to use the phone, opened a drawer, pulled out a .38 caliber gun and pointed it at Gigliotti. Agent Lopez lunged for the man and pushed him against the wall trying to deflect the gun. Gigliotti fired but missed, and Lopez struggled to get the gun away from the parolee. Lopez and the parolee fell to the floor as Gigliotti tried to handcuff the parolee. As the three struggled on the ground, the parolee broke free, ran to the door, turned and pointed his gun at the two agents.
Agent Gigliotti fired and hit the parolee in the chest. Despite his wound, the man ran out the door and down the driveway before he collapsed in the front yard. The agents ran after him, handcuffed him, and took him away.
During the brief encounter, both agents Gigliotti and Lopez displayed highly professional, skilled responses to a dangerous situation that could have led to the loss of life. Their quick actions reflected their training and commitment to duty as well as to each other. We honor them here today for their bravery and professionalism.
CORRECTIONS STAR (BRONZE)MEDAL
The Corrections Star (Bronze) medal is the Department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.
Correctional Officer Marc E. Jarrett, Ishi Conservation Camp
In January 1997, Officer Marc Jarrett was returning home after a special assignment to High Rock Conservation Camp in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. As he was driving up Highway 101 near Fortuna he came upon a multi-car accident that had just happened.
A passenger van had rolled over and landed upside down. When he saw how bad the accident was, Jarrett asked a passing motorist to call 911, and directed another to stop traffic up the road.
Jarrett turned to see how he could help. He went to help a little boy lying in the road, and asked a bystander to keep on eye on the child. He checked the van and found the driver was dead. A woman passenger was suspended by her seatbelt in the front seat as was a little girl in the back of the tangled wreckage. Jarrett asked a bystander to calm and quiet the girl while Jarrett tried to help the woman. She told him she’d had a neck injury previously, so he decided not to remove her from the seatbelt until help arrived. Instead, he held the woman up so she could breathe more easily, and he tried to reassure her about her and her family’s conditions.
When emergency help arrived, Jarrett asked them for a neck brace and put it on the woman before she was removed from the wreckage.
Jarrett is being recognized today for his take-charge response to a tragic accident. His professionalism and response clearly prevented further injuries and helped the victims survive their injuries.
Correctional Officer Charles Trotter, California Correctional Institution
Early one morning last December, Officer Charles Trotter was working in the dining hall at the California Correctional Institution Reception Center when a large inmate attacked another officer, knocking him unconscious. Without stopping to think about his own safety, Trotter ran over and jumped on the inmate, stopping him from further attacking the downed officer. Despite the inmate’s size and aggressive behavior, Trotter managed to keep him down until other staff came to help him.
Both Officer Trotter and his injured colleague went to the hospital with head and facial injuries, while three other staff received minor injuries.
Officer Trotter’s immediate response to save the life of another officer, with disregard for his own safety, reflects the best in professionalism and concern for others. We are proud to honor him today.
Correctional Sergeant John E. Boyd, and Correctional Officer Austin G. Petry, California Men’s Colony
One hot, sunny July day in 1997, Sergeant Boyd and Officer Petry were on duty in the C-Quad Yard at the California Men’s Colony when another yard officer radioed them to check out an inmate who appeared to be on fire. Boyd and Petry found the inmate walking across the yard with a burning sheet draped over his body. They rushed to the inmate. Boyd grabbed the burning sheet and pulled it from the man’s body. Petry placed the man on the ground and extinguished the fire that was quickly consuming the inmate’s jacket. Petry’s own uniform caught on fire, and he dropped to the ground to put out the flames.
Both Sergeant Boyd and Officer Petry received burns in their efforts to save the life of another human being. Thanks to their exemplary and extraordinary response, the inmate’s life was saved.
Tom Petty, Medical Technical Assistant, California Rehabilitation Center
One day last July, MTA Petty and his daughter were enjoying the pool at his apartment complex. The pool was crowded and a large family was gathered around the deck. Petty looked up to see a 10-year-old child pulling a much smaller child from the deep end of the pool. The girl laid the little boy on the cement deck, and when Petty ran over he could see that the little boy was not breathing. The boy’s eyes were fixated and he was clearly near death.
Twenty years in the Navy and years of medical training led Petty to leap into action. He turned the child over, cleared his mouth and immediately began CPR. As he attempted to breathe life into the little boy, the child’s grandmother--who did not speak English--started hitting Petty on the back hysterically. She did not understand that Petty was trying to save the child’s life. Petty continued to administer CPR even as the Grandmother continued to strike him. After several compressions, the little boy started to breathe. Petty continued CPR until the paramedics arrived. The next day, the little boy was running around as usual, unaware of how close he had come to death.
Were it not for MTA Petty’s immediate response, the little boy undoubtedly would have died. We are proud to honor Mr. Petty today for his professional and heroic actions.
Correctional Officer Louie Morales, California State Prison, Corcoran
Correctional Officer Louie Morales was driving through Selma one evening on his way home from work when he stopped to use a pay phone near a gas station. As he walked to the phone, a man wearing "Prison Blues"--the standard inmate uniform of blue jeans and a blue shirt--approached Morales and asked for a ride to Fresno.
Although Officer Morales had on his officers’ uniform, the man didn’t notice in the dark. Morales asked the man if he had someone to pick him up in Fresno, and when the man said yes, Morales told him to wait and he’d help him out.
Little did the man imagine where his ride would take him.
Morales called the Selma Police Department from inside the gas station mini-mart and waited until the police arrived. He and the responding officers detained the man--a recent escapee from California State Prison, Corcoran--and helped him get a ride back to the prison.
Officer Morales displayed unusual courage, integrity and tactics in capturing a prison escapee without incident. He is being honored today for his professionalism.
Michael Greene, Medical Technical Assistant, and Correctional Officer Mark Peters, Calipatria State Prison
Both MTA Greene and Officer Peters were on their way to work when they came upon an accident on Highway 111. Two people were trapped in one of the cars and gasoline was flooding the area.
Greene and Peters used a crowbar to pry open the car to reach the passenger. They pulled her from the car to safety, but the driver was trapped. MTA Greene checked but couldn’t find a pulse on the trapped driver. Despite the spreading gasoline and the threat of fire or explosion, the two men worked to establish an airway in the trapped driver’s throat and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Their efforts paid off when the victim’s heart started beating again and she was breathing on her own.
Although the driver died later at the hospital, MTA Greene and Officer Peters are being recognized here today for saving the passenger’s life, trying to save the driver, and doing so despite the risk they faced from the gasoline. We honor them today for their bravery.
Sergeant Andre Ayoub, Central California Women’s Facility
One day last November, an inmate in the prison’s Enhanced Outpatient Program attempted to take her own life. She carefully fashioned her bedsheet into a noose, tied one end to the top rail of the second tier, put the other end around her neck and started to climb over the rail.
Sergeant Ayoub was working that morning when he looked up to see the inmate putting her head through the noose. He dashed up the stairs and grabbed the inmate’s forearms just as the woman jumped off the railing. The only thing that kept the woman from hanging was the strength of Sergeant Ayoub and another officer who held on to her arms. Ayoub quickly took charge. He had one officer remove the noose from the inmate’s neck while he radioed for help with one hand and continued to hold on to the woman with the other hand.
Other staff responded and quickly got under the dangling inmate and supported her feet. They pulled a Ping-Pong table under the woman and a staff member climbed onto the table and grabbed the inmate by the waist. Sergeant Ayoub and another officer let go as the staff lowered the woman down.
Just then, the Ping-Pong table collapsed. The inmate wasn’t injured, and the man who had been holding her suffered only minor back pain.
Throughout this brief but potentially deadly incident, Sergeant Ayoub performed admirably. He took charge, responded quickly and directed staff under extremely stressful conditions. His response saved the inmate’s life.
Correctional Officer Chester Rodney Williams, North Kern State Prison
On the morning of December 30 last year, Officer Williams was returning to the prison when an oncoming car slammed head-on into his car. Williams climbed out through the passenger side and found that his legs were hurt and he had trouble walking. Nonetheless, he went immediately to the other car and found the driver hanging upside down in her seatbelt, bleeding profusely.
Williams found the woman had a faint pulse. He ran to his car and radioed for help. Just then a teen-age boy and a man arrived on the scene. The teenager helped Williams get a blanket and first aid kit from the trunk of his car. He asked the man for a knife and cut the woman out of her seatbelt. He got her out of the car and laid her on the road where he covered her with a blanket and gave her first aid. He told someone else to extricate the children who were still buckled into their seatbelts in their mother’s mangled car.
In spite of his injuries and the shock of being in such an accident, Officer Williams conducted himself in an extraordinary manner throughout the ordeal. The woman died from her injuries, but the children survived. Through it all, Officer Williams did everything he could to help the injured family. We honor him today for his caring, unselfish actions in a time of terrible stress.
Lieutenant Timothy Rossetti, San Quentin State Prison
Lieutenant Timothy Rossetti was ready to enjoy his much-needed day off in March of last year. He drove to Ocean Beach in San Francisco, set for a day on the beach, and was just driving into the parking lot when he saw two men arguing with a park police officer. The men, drunk and belligerent, refused to put their pit bulls in their car. One man punched the officer in the face when the officer tried to search him.
Rossetti stopped, jumped out of his car, and ran to help. The park police officer was trying to restrain the man who had hit him. Rossetti identified himself as an off-duty peace officer and yelled at the other man to put the dogs in the car. The man did what he was told. Rossetti then placed the attacker up against the car and did a quick pat search for weapons. This gave the park police officer a chance to bring both men under control. Had Lt. Rossetti not arrived when he did, and provided quick and professional assistance, the park police officer would undoubtedly have faced further assault from the two men.
We honor Lt. Rossetti today for his willingness to assist another peace officer, preventing additional injuries and bringing two offenders under control.
Correctional Officers Kenney D. Calhoun, Ronald T. Dunnagan, Gilberto U. Gil, Susan L. Miller, Denise Porter, Steven D. Webb and Herberto Zepeda; Gayleen Clark, Case Records Supervisor; and Correctional Sergeant Michael L. Quaglia, Sierra Conservation Center
Early one morning last September, Sergeant Michael Quaglia was driving to work at Sierra Conservation Center when he saw a cloud of dust and skid marks beside the road. He stopped and ran to the roadside where he found a white Corvette had overturned and was resting on its roof. Trapped inside was Sergeant Dan McCue, a colleague from the prison. McCue appeared to be unconscious.
As Quaglia was checking on McCue, more staff on their way to work stopped to help. Gayleen Clark stopped and flagged down a passing motorist and asked him to call 911. When Officer Kenney Calhoun arrived at the scene, he took control and tried again to get a response from the victim. When the victim failed to respond, those gathered at the scene realized only one thing could save Sergeant McCue. They would have to get the car upright so they could pull him to safety and begin emergency measures.
With gasoline spilling from the vehicle, and smoke pouring from the engine compartment, speed was of the essence. Officers Gilberto Gil, Ronald Dunnagan, Steven Webb, Herberto Zepeda, Kenney Calhoun and Denise Porter, along with Sergeant Quaglia, all worked together and rolled the vehicle over onto its side. Sergeant Quaglia and Officer Calhoun tried to remove the crushed roll bar that was pinning down the victim. When four of the rescuers could not budge the roll bar, they tried using a tire jack, but that didn’t work either.
By then, Sergeant McCue had regained consciousness and was in pain. While the group tried to free McCue from the smoking car, Officer Susan Miller ignored the threat of volatile fumes and fire to comfort the trapped man. The group continued its efforts to free Sergeant McCue, even after the CHP and local fire department arrived. At last they managed to extricate their colleague who was taken by helicopter to the local hospital in critical condition.
Without the courageous actions of Sergeant McCue’s colleagues, it is quite possible he would not be alive today. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for doing what you did to save this man’s life. We are proud to honor you today.
Patricia Leatherman, Executive Secretary, Parole and Community Services Division
Pat Leatherman drove into her reserved parking space in a private lot near Corrections’ headquarters one morning last December when she saw a large man struggling with a woman in a van parked nearby. The woman was honking her horn, screaming and struggling to get away from the man.
Leatherman immediately called 911 on her cell phone. She also called Corrections headquarters and asked for help. She yelled at the victim and told her to get into her car. The woman managed to break loose from the man and dashed to Leatherman’s car where she took refuge. As she waited for help to arrive, her attacker gave up and ran away.
Thanks to Ms. Leatherman’s quick thinking, and her willingness to get involved--even though she initially thought it might be a domestic dispute--very well may have saved the woman’s life. As her victim said in a letter, "If she hadn’t gotten involved, I’m, certain the situation would have been much worse. Knowing that she was there gave me the courage and strength to not give up."
Distinguished Service Medal
The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the Department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.
Correctional Officer Kenneth Martin, California Medical Facility
Correctional Officer Kenneth Martin is being honored today for his dedication and commitment to his community.
Three times a week for the last four years, Officer Martin has spent his off-duty time serving as a pastor for the Macedonian Church in Suisun City, performing services for the congregation and helping individual members. On Thanksgiving, his church hosts a holiday dinner for the homeless and elderly. Officer Martin also donates his time to minister to the sick and elderly at local hospitals.
The sick and elderly are not the only recipients of Officer Martin’s caring. Once a month he meets with the "Juvenile Ministries" in Fairfield, talking with the incarcerated juveniles, sharing his spirit of his ministry and guiding them in ways to improve their lives.
Officer Martin also provides valuable service to the "street people" afflicted with mental illness and addictions to drugs or alcohol.
We are proud to recognize today Officer Martin’s tireless self-sacrifice in efforts to help those most in need in his community.
Correctional Officer Joseph W. Moss, Salinas Valley State Prison
Correctional Officer Joseph W. Moss is another employee who gives generously of his time and efforts to help both his department and his community.
As a member of the prison’s Investigative Unit, Officer Moss has been involved in serving a number of warrants on inmate visitors, leading to a significant reduction in the amount of drugs being smuggled into the institutions.
Officer Moss is also actively involved in helping those in need in his community. Every year at Thanksgiving he helps prepare and deliver complete holiday meals to needy families. He organizes a fund raising drive each Christmas for food, clothing, toys and a television for a needy family.
On behalf of the Department, we are proud to recognize Officer Moss for his generous contributions to Salinas Valley State Prison and his local community.
Correctional Supervisor of the Year
Correctional Sergeant Michael Moseley, California Medical Facility
This year the Department of Corrections is proud to honor Sergeant Michael Moseley as the Correctional Supervisor of the Year for outstanding service and dedication in meeting the daily challenges at work. Not only is the Department honoring Sergeant Moseley, the International Association of Correctional Officers has named him the National Correctional Supervisor of the Year for 1998.
Sergeant Moseley has been with the Department since 1986, when he was assigned to Folsom State Prison. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1996 and transferred to the California Medical Facility in Vacaville where he served until this March when he transferred to the Deuel Vocational Institution Transportation Hub.
Sergeant Moseley was assigned to the third watch in the Administrative Segregation Unit at CMF, during which there is no direct supervision by a lieutenant. That unit can be extremely volatile, and staff assaults are not uncommon. Sergeant Moseley demonstrated just how capable he is when he decided to work on improving the unit. He created an Inmate Orientation package which clearly spelled out for the inmate just what to expect in the unit. That package, and improved training for staff, significantly improved communications in the unit, and the number of assaults dropped dramatically.
As a "team player," Sergeant Moseley proved to be an excellent supervisor. He evaluated the officers who worked for him in a manner that provided constructive criticism as well as inspiration. Since Sergeant Moseley always takes advantage of training when it is offered, he is able to continually improve his own performance along with that of his staff.
Twice, Sergeant Moseley has been nominated for the Medal of Valor, another indication of his devotion and dedication to the job.
When he’s not on duty, he is out in the community helping young people. He coaches youth basketball, and speaks to young people about juvenile gangs and how to keep out of trouble. Sergeant Moseley certainly represents an exceptional role model to young people who may be at the crossroads in their lives.
There isn’t enough time today to really do justice to all of Sergeant Moseley’s accomplishments. He is an exceptional person and Corrections employee who deserves the honor he is receiving today.
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