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Vernon Recognizes Three Local Heroes

On June 19 the City of Vernon recognized three local heroes, including an off-duty police detective, for acts of bravery and service to the community.

Civilians Jansel Rodriguez and Freddy Covarruvias were awarded a proclamation for rescuing a suicidal man on the Atlantic Boulevard Bridge on April 24.

Jansel Rodriguez and Freddy Covarruvias.

According to the city, Rodriguez was walking along the bridge when he spotted a young man standing on the outer ledge of the bridge as if ready to jump. His suspicions were confirmed when the young man told him he was going to kill himself. Rodriguez proceeded to restrain the man with one hand while using his other hand to dial 9-1-1. Meanwhile, Covarruvias was driving past and saw what was happening, and immediately got out of his car to help Rodriguez hold on to the man as they waited for police to arrive to help get the distraught man off the ledge.

Vernon paramedics took the man to a nearby hospital for psychological evaluation.

“Jansel and Freddy deserve our sincere thanks, recognition and praise for their quick and brave response and excellent judgment in saving the life of a suicidal subject,” wrote Interim Chief of Police Daniel Calleros in a staff report.

A city Merit Award was given to Detective Celestino Chavez for helping his neighbor detain a burglary suspect while off-duty on February 17. Chavez received a frantic call for help from his neighbor who suspected a burglar was in his Lake Elsinore home.

Chavez went to the house where he detained the suspect until local law enforcement arrived to take him into custody. The suspect, who has a long criminal arrest record, was charged with residential burglary.

Detective Celestino Chavez