Sacramento Police Department

Saturday, October 25, 2014

2009 Life Saving Award Recipients

William Conner

On the night of August 9, 2008, Officer William Conner was working a supplemental shift at the United Artist Theaters on Center Parkway. While in the lobby, a theater patron ran toward Officer Conner, cradling his five-year-old grandson. He laid the child on the floor and told Officer Conner that the child had been choking on popcorn for about two minutes. The child was semi-conscious, his eyes were fixed, he was not breathing, and his skin was turning a shade of gray.

Officer Conner called for paramedics and then stood the limp child up. He held the child and gave the child several strikes to his back in attempt to dislodge the popcorn. On the third blow, the child made a small cough. Officer Conner struck the child one more time and was able to dislodge the obstruction. The child was able to regain his breathing before Fire personnel arrived.

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Lyle Donnelson and Jennifer Fieguth

In the early morning hours of January 3, 2008, Officers Lyle Donnelson and Jennifer Fieguth responded to the Tower Bridge regarding a mentally unstable subject who was planning on committing suicide by jumping from the bridge. Upon arrival, they saw that the subject was hanging onto the railing of the bridge with one hand, suspending himself over the river. Officer Fieguth immediately engaged the subject in conversation to determine his mental status and to convince him to voluntarily come back over the railing. Due to the recent rain and time of the year, the river was extremely cold, swollen, and moving rapidly. Knowing that a rescue by the officers would be impossible if the subject jumped, Officer Donnelson requested the D.A.R.T. team be alerted. As Officer Fieguth spoke with the subject, both officers moved as close to the subject as he would allow, positioning themselves just outside of arms reach of him. After a short conversation, the subject stated, "My hand is slipping."

At this point, Officers Donnelson and Fieguth reached over the railing and grabbed hold of the subject to keep him from falling into the frigid river. They took hold of the subject's belt and lifted him over the railing and onto the bridge where he was safely detained.

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Joshua Frey and David Smart

On the evening of May 24, 2008, Officers Joshua Frey and David Smart were on patrol in the Department's helicopter, Air 1. Officer Frey was the Tactical Flight Officer and Officer Smart was the pilot. At around midnight, these two officers responded to the area of southwestern Sacramento County and southeastern Yolo County to assist ground units in locating a possible assault victim. A cellular 911 call was received from a subject who stated he had been kidnapped, stabbed multiple times and dumped in a field. He had no idea where he was, but was seriously injured. Sacramento Sheriff's Department, Yolo County Sheriff's and Fire Departments were able to obtain GPS coordinates from the cell phone; however, the ground units were without GPS units and were only able to be directed to a general area.

The Air 1 crew was able to navigate to the exact remote location of the victim by using the GPS coordinates. Officer Frey searched the area with the helicopter's Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) camera and located the victim who was lying motionless in the field. Several attempts to direct ground units to the victim were unsuccessful. Officer Smart identified a safe landing zone within a short distance from the victim and landed. Officer Frey located the victim, and using his EMT training, quickly identified the victim to have multiple stab wounds to his upper chest and a sucking chest wound. Knowing the victim was in grave condition, Officer Frey used the limited medical supplies that were on the helicopter to perform first-aid. Officer Frey, recognizing the victim was in a severely critical condition, then loaded him into the back seat of Air 1 for transport. Once airborne, Officer Smart made contact with the UC Davis Medical Center via radio and obtained clearance to land on their rooftop heliport. Upon landing, the victim was transferred to doctors who were awaiting his arrival. The victim was admitted, treated, and survived his injuries.

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Michael Hight and Mark Scurria

On the evening of April 30, 2008, Officers Michael Hight and Mark Scurria responded to the area of Basler Way on the bike trail for a subject who had been stabbed. Upon arrival, they found a male subject lying on the ground with a citizen applying pressure to a stab wound.

Officer Hight made his way through the chaotic scene to check the victim's vitals. He located a faint pulse and then lost it. The victim had a stab wound on the left side of his chest, his eyes were wide open, he had no movement and appeared not to be breathing. Officer Hight advised Officer Scurria to get a CPR mask. As the two began CPR, Fire Department personnel arrived to assist and continued CPR with Officer Scurria, who applied chest compressions. Officer Scurria continued performing CPR for a few minutes before Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the victim to the hospital.

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Nou Khang

On the evening of August 16, 2008, Officer Nou Khang and her partner were dispatched to a single motorcycle collision. Upon arrival, Officer Khang saw approximately 10 citizens standing around the motorcyclist who was lying supine in the street bleeding from his head and ear.

The victim was unresponsive, was not breathing, and had no pulse. Officer Khang made a broadcast on the situation and started CPR. She performed CPR on the victim for approximately two minutes before Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the victim to the UC Davis Medical Center.

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Gerald Landberg

On the morning of February 22, 2008, Officer Gerald Landberg and another officer responded to the San Juan Road overpass at Interstate 80 regarding a subject who was sitting on the edge of the guard rail. Upon arrival, contact was made with a 16-year-old boy who was sitting, facing towards the freeway traffic, with both legs hanging over the edge. The young man was sobbing, obviously distraught, and unable to engage in any type of conversation with the officer. All that was comprehendible was that the subject wanted to jump from the overpass.

As Officer Landberg arrived to assist, the young man was staring at the traffic on the freeway. Officer Landberg made contact with him and told him that he was going to walk to the other side of the overpass to talk to his friend who was standing nearby. As Officer Landberg walked behind the young man, Officer Landberg wrapped his arms around the him and pulled him off the rail and onto the ground. The young man was safely detained without further incident.

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Brandon Mullock

On the night of June 8, 2008, Officer Brandon Mullock and another officer responded to a call of an injury collision. A teenager was riding his bicycle on Greenhaven Drive without a light when he hit a parked vehicle at full speed. The bicyclist's seat dismantled during the collision and a metal prong struck him in the leg, approximately four to five inches deep, cutting his femoral artery. The young man, unaware of the seriousness of his injury, continued to bicycle to this friend's house for help, leaving a thick trail of blood. After riding for about a mile, the subject fainted in the street.

Upon the officers' arrival, they found the subject's leg was squirting blood and he was barely conscious. As the other officer stabilized his neck, Officer Mullock applied direct pressure to the bicyclist's wound to slow the bleeding until paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital. A doctor at Kaiser South advised that the bicyclist had lost three to four pints of blood, and that without direct pressure applied to his wound, he would have died.

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Matthew Nichols and Timothy Strautman

On the evening of June 24, 2008, Community Service Officer Timothy Strautman was on a call in the area of Meadowgate Drive and Kymper Court when he was approached by a woman who said a 60-year-old client in her group home had just lost consciousness and was unresponsive. CSO Strautman went to the residence and found the female subject sitting upright on the couch. The female did not respond to verbal cues and CSO Strautman was unable to detect any breathing or a pulse on her. He immediately requested the Fire Department for medical assistance.

Officer Matthew Nichols was in the area and heard the call for assistance. Upon arrival, Officer Nichols and CSO Strautman moved the female onto the floor and began CPR. CSO Strautman performed rescue breathing while Officer Nichols applied chest compressions. These two officers continued CPR on the female subject for several minutes until Fire personnel arrived and transported the subject to the hospital.

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David Topaz

On the evening of May 22, 2008, officers were dispatched to Arrowrock Road regarding an assault that had just occurred. It was reported that the victim had been stabbed in the neck and was bleeding profusely. The caller advised that the victim had gotten into a car and drove away. There were several reports of hit and run collisions in the immediate area and the suspect vehicle matched the stabbing victim's. The victim had driven himself about a mile before finally stopping at Taylor Street and Hayes Avenue.

Officer David Topaz and his trainee were the first to contact the unconscious victim. He appeared to have lost a large amount of blood. Officer Topaz immediately put on his rubber gloves and applied pressure to the victim's neck in attempt to slow the bleeding. Fire personnel arrived approximately five minutes later and transported the victim to the hospital. Although the victim's condition appeared to be life threatening upon the Fire Department's arrival, the victim survived his injuries.

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Ethan Zeek

On the morning of March 26, 2008, Officer Ethan Zeek was working within the crowd at a large demonstration on the corner of 10th and I Streets. A citizen ran up to Officer Zeek and reported that an elderly male in the crowd had suddenly collapsed and was not breathing.

Officer Zeek located the victim who was being helped by a concerned citizen who was attempting to unsuccessfully drag the frail man out of the crowd. Officer Zeek immediately requested medical aid on his radio. He observed the elderly man's limp posture and pasty skin as being consistent with a heart attack. He asked the citizen to lower the victim to the ground and checked for a pulse and breathing, but found none. Officer Zeek began performing chest compressions as a CHP officer arrived with a CPR mask. A female citizen made her way through the crowd and identified herself as an EMT and took over preparing the mask for use. While Officer Zeek performed chest compressions, the victim suddenly began to wheeze and then breathe again on his own. The EMT continued to monitor the male subject until Fire personnel arrived and transported him to the hospital.

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