Some Positive, Reassuring, Good News (Law Enforcement Edition)

It’s always the right time to shine some positive light on the acts and efforts of our great law enforcement officers, who so often go above and beyond to serve and protect us.

In San Pablo, CA, an off-duty police officer was driving home with his family from a movie theater one weekend recently, when he noticed an “hysterical” mother holding her baby at the side of the road.  The officer stopped, ran to the mother who immediately handed her child to the officer! The child was choking. He held the baby in a “downward position, patting its back, while performing back thrusts.” He also had the mother do a “finger sweep” to remove any foreign matter in the child’s mouth.  Meanwhile, the officer’s family called 911 for assistance.  After a couple of minutes, the officer “was able to get the baby breathing again, threw up, and began crying.” “I definitely don’t feel like a hero.  I think anybody in that situation that had seen her there as distraught as she was would have probably tried to do the same thing,” said Officer Gilbert Troche.  In civilian clothes, with no equipment, but with police training, this officer was clearly able to save that baby’s life.

Continuing with the saving of life, New Jersey detective Richard Jupinka was on his lunch break, when he noticed a 10-year-old girl choking at a near-by table.  The girl’s uncle had been trying the Heimlich maneuver, but unsuccessfully. The detective jumped in, applied the same maneuver, this time successfully, clearing the food obstruction. The young girl was shaken, but fine.   Said his chief: “Had he not been there, this incident could have ended much differently.”  Related:  The very next day, in another jurisdiction, a police officer rescued a child from a locked, hot car.  And this to that officer’s credit: He actually helped pay for the car window he had been forced to break to make the rescue!!!  Incredible. The kind of positives about our law enforcement men and women you rarely ever hear about.

And the rescues continue.  Columbus, Ohio police officer Brian Wilson was at home, and off-duty, when he heard a woman’s screams for help from five houses down. He ran to the scene to find a 2-year-old little girl not breathing, having fallen into the backyard swimming pool.  She had wandered out of the house through an open door, when their dog had been let out, and stumbled into the pool.  Her mother had jumped into get her, but she had already ingested much water.  Officer Wilson immediately began CPR while other neighbors called 911.  “I was definitely worried,” said Wilson. “I’ve done CRP a few times in my career, but that was the first time I’ve done it on a child.  And quite honestly, just the way she looked, the way she felt, you know, she was very limp.” Thankfully, eventually, the little girl “vomited and started to moan slightly.” The medical responders had arrived and took it from there.  She was hospitalized for observation and released after a few days.  Another fine save by a well-trained officer, off-duty, but realistically, always on, responding quickly to the need for help.

And rookie San Jose, CA police officer Pedro Garcia was captured on video single-handedly pulling an unconscious male driver out of a burning car on the side of a highway. “The heat of the blaze was so ferocious that it had melted the driver’s shoes to the footwall of the sedan, meaning he faced almost certain death were it not for Garcia’s quick-thinking heroism.”  The vehicle had been involved in an accident.  The officer called for emergency assistance and, without hesitating, ran toward the burning vehicle and made the dangerous, life-saving extraction. “I believe I was in the right place at the right time. I know that any other of my partners or anyone in the department would’ve done the same exact thing,” said Officer Garcia, who had been with the department less than a year!  The response from his department: “Without waiting, even with fire department personnel moments away, the officer did not hesitate to risk his life and pull the man from the burning car.”  The driver was treated at the scene and, of course, hospitalized.  No further information was available on his condition, but he was likely to have survived, thanks solely to the immediate actions of that courageous officer.

From saving lives to improving them.  Two sheriff’s deputies in the Tampa, FL area, out on patrol, noticed a male hanging around behind a gas station.  When questioning the individual, they noticed that he had no shoes.  While one deputy spoke to the gentleman, the other went to a nearby store to buy a pair of flip flops for him.  During questioning, the gentleman revealed that, yes, he was hungry, as well.  So then, one deputy went into that gas station and came out with a hoagie sandwich.  His immediate needs now met, the deputies then dutifully advised the man to “move on.”

This department’s deputy generosity seemed to be an on-going commitment within.  The PIO for their office mentioned that earlier that same week, four of their deputies responded to a call regarding a family sitting by the side of a highway.  The father indicated that he was working, but trying hard to find suitable housing for his family.  The officers referred him to several local agencies that might be able to help.  And here comes the incredible above-and-beyond action.  They then drove the father and two kids to a nearby store and purchased “$275 worth of groceries, hygiene items and toys, all from their own money.” Then the deputies drove the family back to where they were staying, so that they and their newly-purchased supplies got back safely.  An incredible effort, apparently not unique for this department, in this case to serve and protect one family in need.

And speaking about efforts to assist, above and beyond, by law enforcement, Kingman, Arizona police Lt. Brian Zach kicked it up a great big notch.  He was called to do a welfare check in a crime-ridden area, with a report of an abused child. “He found a two-year-old little girl with a fractured skull, brain bleed, dislocated elbow and bruises.” Clearly, this child needed medical care and then to be freed from that abusive situation and, hopefully, put into a new home.  While waiting for social workers to arrive and begin the foster family search, the officer was kind and attentive to the young child.  “My heart felt for this little girl,” said Zach.  He was then asked if he would consider being a temporary “placement home.” He quickly agreed. While the child was only due to stay with Lt. Zach, his wife, and their two children, for a limited time, he began worrying about what might become of her. Meanwhile, they made every effort to make her feel like a part of their family, including a trip to Disneyland.  And as you might be expecting or at least hoping, yes, the Zach family did end up adopting that two-year-old girl.  “It was one of the greatest decisions his family every made,” said he.  An amazing law enforcement story with, like all of the above, yet another pleasant ending.  A great effort to ensure a caring, abuse-free future for a very fortunate little girl.

And finally for this edition, Marine Corps Colonel Randy Hoffman had served eight deployments to Afghanistan, and always recalled one Afghan in particular whom he remembered as “one of the finest men he’d ever served with.”  He credits this individual, Mr. Mubarak (first name withheld by the Fox News article for Afghan family protection) with at least ten times, when his “decisions not only saved my life but saved the life of all the other Afghan Special Forces and the other U.S. military special forces.  When I say he saved my life, what I mean by that is he made decisions daily and certainly on specific occasions that prevented myself and other special operators from going into an area that was where we clearly could have been killed,” recalled Hoffman.  Mubarak served first as an interpreter for the American military, but he was so intelligent, so dedicated, that he later became an operations officer.  He immigrated to the U.S. in 2009 on a special immigrant visa as a result of his service with our military.  Subsequently, he earned both an undergraduate degree, and also a master’s degree!  Mubarak decided that he wanted to continue to serve.  As good fortune would have it, Colonel Hoffman’s cousin ran the Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff’s Office.

Mubarak liked the looks of the department, so he came down to Sarasota, enrolled in the academy, and graduated #1 in his class.  Said Mubarak: “Being a member of the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office was an excellent opportunity for me.  The happiest day for me is when I get a call, I go out there, I talk to the family, and I am able to solve their problem.”  And with the recent collapse of the Afghan government and America’s involvement, Mubarak called on his old friend Colonel Hoffman to help evacuate his family members, still back there, and now in great danger due to his past assistance with the American military. The Colonel was able to help get 33 members of Mubarak’s family out of Afghanistan, thanks to a team effort with Senior Marine Corps leaders, Marines on the ground at Kabul Airport, and Florida Senator Rick Scott.  A terrific Afghan-to America story, starting on the ground over there as a linguist, and coming full circle, with he once again serving America (the Sarasota part of it!), as now both he and his extended family are safe in America.


(San Pablo officer data and quote via, Stephen Sorace, 8-25-21; New Jersey detective data and quote via, Louis Casiano, 7-20-21; Columbus officer rescue data and quote via, Ann W. Schmidt, 7-20-21; San Jose police officer rescue data and quote via, Tommy Taylor, 9-29-21; Tampa area deputies data and quote via, Louise Bevan, 6-25-21; Kingman, AZ police Lieutenant data and quote via, Amy Furr, 10-8-21; Afghan interpreter story data and quotes via, Matt Wall, 9-12-21).