Officer Andrew Castro
Officer Steven Griffin
Officer Edward Hale
Officer Joseph Hamilton
Officer Dennis Hinman
Officer Willard Howard
Officer Mark Jackson
Officer Brian Liddy
Officer Lisa Phillips
Officer John Puis
On October 2, 1992, Officers Andrew Castro, Steve Griffin, and Mark Jackson responded to an emergency call that children were trapped inside a burning apartment. Unable to open either the security-gated front door of the building or the barred front windows, they pried open a fire escape section of the window grates, smashed a window, and entered the blazing unit. Battling intense smoke and flames, the officers were able to pull an unconscious and severely burned infant from the inferno. Two other children were rescued several moments later.
While on patrol on March 1, 1992, Southwest Area Officer Hale spotted a parked car fully engulfed in flames behind a gas station. Officer Hale approached the car to see if anyone was trapped inside. He broke a window and then used a fire extinguisher to combat the flames. He discovered that the motorist was wedged between the car’s bucket seats. Despite the flames, Officer Hale climbed into the car and worked to free the motorist, suffering second degree burns in the process.
Enroute home from work on October, 11, 1992, Operations-West Bureau Officer Hamilton was traveling eastbound on the Pomona Freeway when he saw a vehicle in the westbound lanes engulfed in flames. The car began to skid, sliding sideways and then it stopped, blocking two lanes. Officer Hamilton pulled his car to the emergency lane, jumped out and raced over the center divider towards the burning car. Risking his own safety as oncoming traffic sped by, Officer Hamilton was able to force open the car door, fighting intense heat, smoke and flames, and rescue the unconscious driver.
Responding to a “robbery in progress” call on January 15, 1992, Devonshire Area Officers Hinman and Howard confronted two armed suspects who barricaded themselves and a hostage inside the location. After a shoot-out and a stand-off, the officers were able to negotiate with the suspects to lay down their weapons, release the hostage and surrender. Both suspects were on parole for serious felony crimes, and were thought to have been members of a team of robbers who were terrorizing small San Fernando Valley businesses and restaurants. After their arrest, the District Attorney’s office filed more than 50 criminal counts against them for this and other robberies they were suspected of committing.
On May 1, 1992, the third day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, 77th Street Area Officer Liddy was en route to the police station, traveling on the Harbor Freeway. He approached the Florence Avenue off-ramp, which is commonly used by 77th Street Area officers reporting to work. During the riots, a team of officers had been assigned to the off-ramp to guarantee the safety of arriving officers. As he exited the freeway, Officer Liddy saw that the assigned patrol was gone. A nearby parked car tried to cut him off, then pulled alongside of his car. Three suspects began shouting epithets at Officer Liddy and threatened to kill him. A gun fight ensued. Afterwards, two suspects were taken into custody and the third lay mortally wounded.
After the outbreak of the Los Angeles riots on April 29, 1992, 77th Street Area Officers Phillips and her partner were enroute to the 77th Street Area Command Post that had been established. They heard an emergency radio call that a woman trapped in a vehicle was being assaulted with rocks and bottles. The officers sped to the scene, where Officer Phillips drew her sidearm, forcing the mob to back away from herself and her partner. Despite being pummeled with rocks and bottles, the officers were able to rescue the unconscious victim. They administered first aid to the motorist as they transported her to the hospital.
Officer Puis was among the Metropolitan Division officers assigned to protect Police and Fire Department personnel performing rescue missions during the 1992 riots. On April 30, 1992, he responded to a major commercial structure fire near the Nickerson Gardens Housing Project, which had experienced numerous incidents of sniping and armed attacks against police and fire units. Officer Puis effectively located and rendered ineffective sniper assaults on fire fighters, other police officers, and himself.