Anaheim-Stanton-Garden Grove O.C. Sheriff’s officers receive ‘Medal of Courage’ and ‘Medal of Valor’
Officers make arrest without harm to suspect nor police; officers save lives
Story and Photos by Loreen Berlin. Originally published in the Orange County News
Four Orange County Sheriff's Officers, serving the City of Stanton, were honored recently; two with the "Medal of Courage" and two with the "Medal of Valor" during the 25th annual Orange County Medal of Valor Luncheon.
The luncheon was sponsored by the Orange County Sheriff's Advisor Council Tuesday, March 26, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine.
"We had a total of four officers who were honored; two who received the Medal of Courage and two who were awarded the Medal of Valor," Stanton Mayor David Shawver said. "It's very remarkable that Stanton had four out of the 16 awardees this year; which shows the outstanding quality of officers serving the City of Stanton," he said.
Orange County Sheriff's Deputies Matthew Parrish and William West were awarded the "Medal of Courage" for safely disarming a man who said he had a knife when he called into the 911 dispatch.
Deputies Victor Valdez and Shannon Parker received the Life Saving "Medal of Valor" award for assisting a woman with diabetes, high blood pressure and a heart condition, who had passed out in her home.
Here are the officer's stories: Deputies Parrish and West
Deputies Parrish and West were working night patrol in August of 2012 when they were dispatched to the area of Chapman Avenue and Dale Street regarding a man who had called 911 asking to talk to a deputy.
When the officers arrived on site, they asked the man if he had a knife and he said that he did and even though the officers were not able to see the knife, they proceeded with caution by removing their guns from their holsters.
The man was asked repeatedly to lay the knife down, but he was reportedly agitated and combative and did not comply with the police orders.
While within their rights as officers of the law, to use deadly force when the suspect rushed the officers and tried to get their guns and tasers, Parrish and West risked their own safety, in an attempt to resolve the matter peaceably.
On the way to the scene, Parrish and West had discussed the possibility that the man, even though he said he didn't want to commit suicide, was perhaps trying to force the officers to shoot him and thereby cause a "suicide by cop" incident. The officers were able to push the man aside when he grabbed for their guns and still maintain control of their guns. Parrish was struck in the face by the suspect and that's when a tussle began between the man and officers; officers were finally able to wrestle the man to the ground, even though the man continued to fight and resist the officers and even though the officers were able to taser the suspect, it had no affect on the man. Eventually, officers were able to overcome the man's resistance and with the assistance of Deputy Kevin Mitchell, who arrived on scene, they were finally able to take the suspect into custody.
The officers resolved the conflict with less lethal options despite the risk of serious injury or death to themselves and displayed great courage and restraint to do that, while subduing a violent and aggressive suspect.
They had prepared themselves for the potential of a combative encounter with a disturbed individual and were able to effectively control the outcome with a minimum of force, while sustaining only minor injuries.
Medal of Valor - the officer's stories: Deputies Valdez and Parker
As these two officers began to end their midnight shift and prepare their paperwork, they received a call saying a man reported his wife had collapsed on the floor and wasn't breathing; he said she was diabetic, had high blood pressure and had been suffering from a severe heart condition for a number of years.
The deputies, along with their area partner, Deputy Art Alvarez, arrived within less-than-three minutes; Valdez checked the woman's condition and began applying chest compressions; Alvarez talked to family members, calming them; Parker began Adult Rescue Breathing with a Bag Mask.
Deputies continued CPR for more than five minutes before the woman began shallow breathing and showed a weak pulse; when the Orange County Fire Authority Paramedics arrived, Advanced emergency treatment was administered and the woman was transported to a hospital for further medical care.
Because of the fast responsive and effective efforts, and the sustained CPR by the deputies, the woman survived a near-fatal cardiac arrest - the extraordinary efforts of Deputies Valdez and Parker saved the woman's life..