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Orange County Digest

Fullerton : Officers Win Awards for Bravery in Line of Duty

February 26, 1985|KRISTINA LINDGREN \f7

Fullerton Police Officers Fred Casas and Kevin Scanlon have been chosen to receive awards from the local American Legion chapters for bravery in the line of duty.

Casas, 28, a five-year veteran, will receive the Legion's Award of Valor for his arrest of five men after a fatal shooting.

Casas was on motorcycle patrol March 27 when he heard a police broadcast to be on the lookout for a silver Cadillac limousine involved in the fatal shooting of Robert William Burke, 33, of Buena Park, and the wounding of another man at a house in the 100 block of South Edward Avenue, police said.

Casas drove to a strategically located freeway overpass and spotted the car in rush-hour traffic on the Riverside Freeway.

The officer zigzagged across freeway lanes to hold back traffic, then raced after the suspects' car, stopped it and arrested five occupants without incident. Police said some or all of the five men were suspected of being paid enforcers used to collect debts in drug deals.

A trial on murder charges is pending in Orange County Superior Court for four of the five suspects.

Scanlon, 24, will receive the Legion's Award of Courage for saving a woman trapped in a burning automobile last Oct. 13.

The Anaheim woman, a night janitor, apparently fell asleep while driving home in her station wagon and crashed into a light pole on Brookhurst Street near Orangethorpe Avenue about 6 a.m. The car burst into flames.

Scanlon, who has been with the department for four years, spotted the burning car on his way to work and rushed to aid the unconscious driver, who was pinned against the steering wheel. He used a bystander's lug wrench to smash the passenger window. Together, Scanlon and the unidentified man pulled the woman to safety through the thick smoke.

The awards will be presented at the American Legion 29th District banquet honoring law enforcement officers. It will be held Saturday at the Los Alamitos American Legion Post No. 716.

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