SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The annual "Extra Step" awards have been handed out to citizens who stepped in to help officers and the public when they were in need.
The awards were presented Wednesday in coordination with the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara, at a Mesa Cafe luncheon.
Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow and officers directly involved with each incident took part in the presentations. They recapped the details and how the citizens were involved in the police actions.
One man, David Jackson, visiting Santa Barbara for a wedding said he was downtown when he saw officers taking down a violent suspect but Lawrence said the suspect was fighting back. He stepped in and assisted restraining the suspect until handcuffs could be applied. "I was nervous at first when I got in and didn't know if I was going to get Tased, but they knew where I was coming from," said Jackson.
Two teens, Aden Capps and Kelly Brewer, were honored for diving into the waters off the breakwater where a man and girl were caught up in a rip current. The girl was saved but the man died. The teens were praised for their efforts to try and save lives, while others may have stood by.
Ed Cue with the Kiwanis said, "we look at social media and they see how the public uses that. They see officers in trouble and they are more apt to stay back and stay back as spectators. We get to acknowledge today those citizens who step in and do the right thing."
Mountain Air sports employees Leonard Stelck and Adam Brenan were honored for catching a fleeing suspect who ran from officers during a traffic stop. Ultimately four suspects were taken in and drugs were found in their vehicle.
Below are the incidents as reported by the Santa Barbara Police Department:
SBPD Announces the Recipients of the 2017 Citizen Extra Step Awards
SANTA BARBARA, CA – May 16, 2017
Each year the Santa Barbara Police Department has its officers submit nominations for Extra Step Awards. These awards are presented to citizens who display acts of civic heroism and devotion to their community. These acts include saving lives and aiding fellow citizens and police officers in the performance of their duties. The awards are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara, which hosts a luncheon for the recipients where they are presented with a meritorious citation.
The following citizens will be receiving the 2017 Kiwanis & Santa Barbara Police Department's Extra Step Award:
Leonard Stelck and Adam Brenan
Mr. Stelck and Mr. Brenan, employees of Mountain Air Sports observed a wanted criminal fleeing from police. Mr. Stelck and Mr. Brenan tripped and wrestled the suspect to the ground and held him until officers arrived to take the suspect into custody. They were nominated by Officer Andre Miller.
Mr. Jackson was walking down the street in the 500 block of State St. When he saw two officers fighting with a wanted subject who was trying to escape. Mr. Jackson could see the officers were struggling and stepped in to help. Mr. Jackson helped hold the subject down while officers placed the fighting subject into custody. They were nominated by Officers Bryn Bruce and Justin Hesketh.
Aden Capps and Kelly Brewer
Mr. Capps and Mr. Brewer were surfing when an 11 year girl yelled for help for her 8 year old sister who appeared to be drowning. Capps and Brewer went to aid in the rescue. Two other adults had gotten the 8 year old girl out but Capps saw another person face down in the water. Capps swam out about 50 yards and retrieved the body while Kelly retrieved a surfboard to assist Capps in the rescue. Capps brought the body out of the water and CPR was given. Ultimately, the subject succumbed to drowning.
Sergeant Eric Beecher
Santa Barbara Police Department