Governor & AG Give SB Cop Cal Medal Of Valor

Officer Marcus Pesquera, 24, the rookie officer who shot and killed the career criminal who shot and severely wounded his training officer as the two were on patrol in one of San Bernardino’s toughest neighborhoods last summer, this week was honored by California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Kamala Harris with the California Medal of Valor for his quick and life-saving action.
Brown and Harris presented the Medal of Valor to Pesquera.
Pesquera, who had graduated only seven weeks previously from the San Bernardino County sheriff’s training academy, and Gabriel Garcia, a six-year veteran who was serving as Pesquera’s training officer, were on patrol in the 1900 block of North Garner Avenue on San Bernardino’s Westside at 2 a.m. on August 22, 2014, when they approached a group of six people.
Garcia drew his gun as he approached the suspects and Pesquera followed suit. According to a police report on the incident, 38-year-old Alex Alvarado, who was armed with a Taurus .38 Special 5-shot revolver and a Ratmil AK-47 assault rifle, shot Garcia once in the head. Pesquera dived for cover and came up shooting, mortally wounding Alvarado in the exchange.
Orlando Cruz, then 21, Gonzalo Medina, then 21, and Jonathan Contreras, then 19, were arrested for their involvement in the deadly encounter. All three were charged with attempted murder on a police officer and last month accepted 15-year state prison plea deals.
Garcia, the son of a retired San Bernardino police captain, survived and is undergoing intense physical rehabilitative therapy. He began walking again last February.
According to Governor Brown, “Due to Officer Pesquera’s courage under fire, he quickly ended the suspect’s deadly assault, while simultaneously calling the situation in to the communications center. Officer Pesquera’s heroic actions allowed officers and medical personnel to safely and swiftly reach training officer Garcia and begin life-saving measures. The whole basis of any society is individuals who can act beyond their own particular interest and comfort and needs. Courage is still a fundamental pillar of our society.”
Alan Barcelona, president of the California State Law Enforcement Association and a member of the Medal of Valor Review Board, said, “Officer Pesquera demonstrated an extreme amount of valor and courage. What he experienced August 22, 2014, as a recent academy graduate and new to the job at SBPD, would shake up the most veteran of officers. He was under fire, his training officer was down and he relied on his courage and training to quickly put an end to the suspect’s assault. He is deserving of California’s highest public safety award.”
Recognized along with Pesquera on Monday was Sonora Police Department Officer Ryan D. Webb, who was also in a shootout in 2014.
Harris said Pesquera and Webb “like all men and women who wear the badge, do this work without any expectation of award or reward. They do it because they have taken a solemn duty to protect people they may never meet and people who may never know their names.”

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