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Two Honored for Aiding Police

Crime: The L.A. men captured and held a suspect who reportedly attacked an officer.

November 01, 2001|From a Times Staff Writer

LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks on Wednesday honored two Los Angeles men who apprehended and detained a man who allegedly bit and choked an officer.

Walter Hamilton, 28, and Bryan Birdsong, 19, were commended for their "unselfish and courageous efforts" in struggling with Jose Gonzalez, 26, on Sept. 5 after he allegedly attacked officers Amy Bradford and Elena Barba.

According to police, the officers were flagged down by a man at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Figueroa Street who said Gonzalez had run him over and had taken off.

Police Sgt. John A. Pasquariello said that as the officers approached the suspect, he charged them.

"He grabbed Officer Bradford in a bearhug and bit her on the right cheek," Pasquariello said.

Barba called for assistance and struck Gonzalez several times with her baton but was unable to stop him, Pasquariello said. Gonzalez then choked Bradford until she lost consciousness, he said.

"Noting that the officers could not overpower the suspect, Birdsong and Hamilton went to the officers' aid, dislodged the suspect and detained him until other officers arrived," Pasquariello said.

Police said Gonzalez is in custody on several felony counts, including mayhem.

"It shows that we do have support in the community," Pasquariello said of the men's heroism.

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