Sacramento Police Department

Monday, October 20, 2014

2008 Life Saving Award Recipients

Eric Ave-Lallemant and Roderick Byron

On the evening of July 3, 2007, Officer Eric Ave-Lallemant and Officer Roderick Byron were hailed by a citizen in the K-Mart parking lot regarding an unresponsive female in a vehicle. The officers located the female and immediately checked for a pulse, but found none. The officers removed the female from the vehicle, placed her on the ground, and checked again for a pulse. Unable to detect neither a pulse nor breathing, the officers began CPR on the female. Officer Ave-Lallemant performed rescue breathing while Officer Bryon applied chest compressions. The officers performed CPR on the female for nine minutes before Sacramento Fire Department personnel arrived and transported her to the UC Davis Medical Center.

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Sara Butler and Tobias Williams

On the afternoon of October 13, 2007, Officer Sara Butler, Officer Tobias Williams, and other officers responded to the scene of a hit and run accident where there were multiple people injured. One of the accident victims was a 15-month-old toddler who had been ejected from the vehicle. Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Butler found the toddler's distraught father cradling her in his arms. The father was kneeling on the ground, screaming, and shaking the toddler from side to side. Officer Butler could see that the toddler had lacerations on her head as well as blood coming from her nose and mouth. Fearing that the father may cause more harm to the child, Officer Butler took the toddler from her father. Upon picking up the child, the family began to run at Officer Butler in attempts to see and touch the baby. Officer Butler took the child and ran across the street in order to begin administering aid.

Officer Butler drained the toddler's mouth of pooling blood. While attempting to clean the blood and stop the bleeding on her head, the toddler stopped and regained breathing six or seven times. When a Sacramento Fire Department Engine unit arrived, Officer Tobias Williams obtained an "AMBU bag" and began using it on the toddler. Officers Butler and Williams used the bag numerous times to force air into the toddler's lungs each time she stopped breathing. Officers Butler and Williams provided first aid to the toddler for 11 minutes before Fire Medic units arrived and took over.

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William Conner and Mark Phillips

On the night of December 31, 2007, Officer William Conner and Officer Mark Phillips were deployed on the Sacramento River for the New Year's Eve Celebration event in Old Sacramento. About a half an hour before midnight, Officers Conner and Phillips received the call of a subject who had jumped off the Tower Bridge and was quickly floating down the river. Within one minute, the officers located the subject swiftly floating south of the bridge. According to the police vessel instruments, the water was approximately 44 degrees with a three knot current.

Officer Phillips positioned the police vessel next to the subject as Officer Conner attempted to grab hold of him. The subject pushed himself away from the boat and yelled, "Just leave me alone. Just let me die." Realizing that the subject had in fact intended to commit suicide, Officer Conner deployed an extension pole toward the subject who refused to grab the pole or the floatation cushion. As the officers tried to reason with the subject and for him to take hold of a rescue device, Officer Phillips was forced to continually reposition the vessel so that they would not lose contact with the subject's continual changing position due to the changing current. After repeated attempts and constant urging, the subject, who was still in strong current, finally took hold of a floatation cushion. Officer Conner opened the dive door as Officer Phillips closed the distance between the vessel and the subject. Once the vessel was close enough, Officer Conner leaned out of the open door and grabbed the still struggling subject by the shoulders of his jacket and pulled him into the boat.

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Joshua Dobson and David Nasca

On July 22, 2007, Officer Joshua Dobson was off-duty and with his family getting his vehicle serviced at the William J. Kinney Police Facility when a driver pulled into the back parking lot area, frantically honking her horn to get attention. Officer Dobson contacted the driver and saw a bloody passenger in the vehicle who was bleeding from her neck and arm and from numerous stab and slash wounds all over her upper body. This victim had just been viciously attacked by her husband with a razor knife and was driven to the station by the Good Samaritan.

Officer Dobson immediately requested Code 3 Fire and Ambulance on his radio and grabbed a towel from the trunk of his car. He applied direct pressure to the venous bleeding coming from the victim's neck. While holding direct pressure on what appeared to be the most serious wound, Officer Dobson kept the victim awake, maintained dialog with her as a distraction, and began to collect investigative information on her attacker. Sergeant David Nasca happened to be inside of the station when he heard Officer Dobson's call for assistance. Sergeant Nasca immediately ran outside and jumped into the vehicle with the victim and applied direct pressure to the victim's neck while Officer Dobson moved over to apply pressure to the massive wound on her arm. Both Officer Dobson and Sergeant Nasca maintained constant dialog with the victim to prevent her from going into shock until Sacramento Fire Department Medics arrived and transported her to the UC Davis Medical Center.

There were blood stains all over the vehicle's interior and on the headliner which was evidence that the victim was literally bleeding to death in front of the officers. The attending physician at the emergency room estimated that the victim was stabbed and slashed over 20 times and lost over two and a half liters of blood. The physician stated that the officers' efforts in stopping or slowing the victim's blood loss "absolutely saved her life."

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Shannon Gunnison

On the evening of March 18, 2007, Officer Shannon Gunnison, along with other officers, responded to the old Globe Mills Building regarding a call of a female who had threatened to jump from the building. The building was under remodel to convert to a condominium complex and the windows and doorways to this seven story building were completely open to the outside. The Sacramento Fire Department was already onscene and trying to locate the female subject with spotlights. The female would sit on the edge of one window, then disappear into the building and reemerge at another location. This continued until Officer Gunnison located the subject about 20 minutes later on the seventh floor, sitting at a large opened door that was exposed to the outside and a seven story fall.

Officer Gunnison engaged the subject in a conversation that went back and forth as to whether or not the subject was going to jump and end her life. At one point, the subject stopped talking, stood up, and looked down. Officer Gunnison was able to persuade the subject to step away from the opening and begin to surrender. After 15 minutes of negotiations, Officer Gunnison finally felt that the subject would soon surrender. However, due to her unstable state of mind, the subject decided to run toward a second open window on another side of the room and climb a metal bar barrier to try to go over it. Officer Gunnison, fearing that the subject would succeed in going over the bar and out the window, immediately ran to the subject and grabbed her to prevent her from falling to her death. Other officers, who were standing by, also assisted in grabbing and holding the subject until she was taken into custody.

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Stephen Lau

On November 10 2007, Sergeant Stephen Lau was off-duty and having lunch with his family at a local restaurant when he realized that another patron appeared to be choking on his food. As he instructed his wife to call 911, Sergeant Lau approached the patron and determined that he was indeed choking. Sergeant Lau began performing the Heimlich Maneuver on the patron who still had a large amount of food in his mouth. Sergeant Lau was able to clear most of it as he performed the upward thrusts on the man.

The choking victim lost consciousness, stopped breathing, and lost his pulse. Sergeant Lau laid the man on his side and tried to clear out the rest of the food. As he was attempting to dislodge the remaining food, another citizen came to assist. They laid the man on his back. Sergeant Lau tilted the victim's head to open his airway as the citizen performed compressions on the man's abdomen. Both Sergeant Lau and the citizen continued life saving efforts until Sacramento Fire Department personnel arrived. The medics pulled out a long piece of meat out of the man's throat by using forceps before transporting him to the hospital in critical condition.

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George Singewald

On the evening of September 14, 2007, Officer George Singewald was off-duty when he came upon a vehicle accident at the intersection of Banfield and North Park Drives. As he approached the accident, he discovered that a small child had been struck by the vehicle and was lying in the street with his head resting on a large metal storm drain cover. Officer Singewald immediately activated the emergency lights and siren on his unmarked car to clear the intersection and to block vehicles that were continuing to drive past the young boy.

As Officer Singewald approached the scene of people surrounding the child, he saw that the child's injuries were serious and appeared life threatening. He called for Code 3 Fire and Ambulance on his police radio. Although the child first gave a few cries of pain, after several minutes of trying to talk to the child with no response, the child's eyes rolled to the back of his head and his arms went limp. In the chaotic scene of bystanders, Officer Singewald began emergency aid to the child. He secured an airway and kept the child from moving to prevent further injury as he continued to monitor for a pulse. Officer Singewald continued to talk to and comfort the child as he updated and waited for Sacramento Fire Department personnel to arrive for transportation to the UC Davis Medical Center. Unbeknownst to Officer Singewald at the time, the child had slipped into a coma due to the swelling in his brain.

The next day, and subsequent weeks after, Officer Singewald went to the hospital to check on the child's condition. After a few days, the child came out of the coma and his condition began to improve. After about a week's time, the child became completely coherent and was able to begin to move. In addition to the head trauma, the child's injuries included a broken leg, broken clavicle, facial and skull fractures, and a broken nose.

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