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CHP recognizes good Samaritans who rushed to help officer shot on I-8

Six men who started the action when a California Highway Patrol officer was shot during a fight with a driver at Interstate 8 in Mission Valley were identified Thursday for their actions during the “dangerous and unpredictable situation.”

CHP border chief Scott Parker said the men did not hesitate to help Officer Tony Pacheco on the night of April 27. Some of the men used their personal belongings – a sweater and backpack straps – as a tourniquet. One of the men asked for help on the officer’s radio and called the officer’s wife. Others held the driver until the reserve officers arrived.

The suspect, Yuhao Du, 25, was arrested and later charged with several felonies, including attempted murder of a peace officer. Doo, a graduate student of physics at UC San Diego from China, pleaded not guilty to insanity in the San Diego Supreme Court.

CHP officer Antonio “Tony” Pacheco

(California Highway Patrol)

Parker said the actions of the good Samaritans were “extraordinary and commendable” in a dangerous and unpredictable situation. He said the men who rushed to his aid probably saved Pacheco’s life.

Their actions are “a testament to what the community believes in law enforcement and how they are willing to risk their safety to help one of us,” Parker added.

The group was identified in front of CHP officers and officers’s families during a CHP staff appreciation event at Sonrise Church in Santee. Parker presented the team with the Higher Effort Law, one of the highest CHP values ​​for citizens, on behalf of CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray.

According to the CHP, the shooting occurred when Pacheco approached a vehicle that crashed along the central divider on I-8 heading east near the 805 Interstate overpass. The CHP claimed that the driver of the vehicle with a disability, later identified as Du, had suddenly fallen for the officer’s weapon without provocation. The two men fought and the gun was fired.

Pacheco was hit in the right thigh.

In interviews after the ceremony on Thursday, some of the good Samaritans recounted their efforts to help Pacheco.

Floriberto Pineda Zayago, a carpenter living in the Spring Valley, was on his way home with his wife after a date in the Old Town when they met with two men fighting on the ground. Pineda Zagiago said the officer appeared to be under the other person. Pinenta Zagiago’s wife pulled the car and he hurried to help the policeman.

Pineda Zagiago said he did not think twice before taking action because law enforcement officers “risk their lives for us every day, for us and for our children.”

Hunter Nemeth, a nurse at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, was on his way to work on a night shift when he saw slow traffic and the vehicle crashed along the main divider. Two men were holding another man – the suspect – against the central divider, Nemeth said.

Meanwhile, the officer shouted that he had been shot. He was bleeding profusely, Nemeth said.

With the help of others at the scene, Nemeth cut the straps on his backpack and used them as a tourniquet, he said. They also used the officer’s belt as another tourniquet.

“I had a kind of feeling with the amount of blood he was losing and what he had not put on a tourniquet might not have worked,” Nemeth said. He added that it meant more to him that he was able to help after learning that the policeman has two young children and his wife is pregnant.

Loay Yousif, a business owner living in El Cajon, said he was returning home from SeaWorld with his wife and three children when they encountered the move. When he saw the fight between the policeman and the driver, he immediately pulled, he said.

Yousif called 911 and grabbed Pacheco radio to call for help, wirelessly sending the 11-99 law enforcement code, which signals that an officer needs help.

Meanwhile, the officer wanted to call his wife, Yousif said, so he grabbed the officer’s cell phone and made the call. The couple talked for a while.

Pacheco told his wife he had been shot. She was frantic and Pacheco was in “terrible pain,” Yousif said.

Yousif and Nemeth said that everyone who helped played an important role.

“Each of us did our part,” Yousif said. “It’s like a hospital – this guy has to get scissors, this guy has to get a bandage, so literally each of us did our job.”

The other men identified at Thursday’s event were James Alan Carver, who assisted with first aid and used Pacheco handcuffs to restrain the driver. Francisco Soto-Sesma, who helped keep the driver in check. and Travis Almond, who helped with first aid – wrapped a sweatshirt around the officer’s leg – and secured the pistol in his vehicle until other officers arrived.

Dou remains in jail without bail while his case is pending.

Following Doo’s extradition to the San Diego Supreme Court last month, his lawyer declined to discuss whether Duo had been diagnosed with a mental illness, but said he had received medication in prison.

A preliminary hearing on Du’s case is scheduled for August. He faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

If the case goes to trial, and a jury finds Du guilty and legally insane at the time of the incident – which means, in part, that he could not distinguish right from wrong – he will likely be sent to a state hospital instead of jail.

Staff writer Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.

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CHP recognizes good Samaritans who rushed to help officer shot on I-8 Source link CHP recognizes good Samaritans who rushed to help officer shot on I-8

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