Sheriff’s Exceptional Service Awardees

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Sheriff John McMahon honored citizens and deputies for their bravery in serving the community and coming to the assistance of others in need.

“From our Sheriff’s Deputies to members of the public, there is no shortage of heroism here in San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisor Chairman Lovingood, who attended the ceremony.”

Victor Valley Station Deputy Patrick Higgins received the Frank Bland Medal of Valor for a 2017 confrontation with murder suspect Kenneth Welch at an Oak Hills gas station. Welch shot at Higgins, hitting him once in the chest from about 4 feet away. Fortunately, Higgins’ ballistic vest stopped the round. Higgins was unable to immediately return fire because behind Welch was a store with an employee inside. Welch fired several more rounds, narrowly missing Higgins. Deputy Higgins was praised for using outstanding officer safety tactics, maintaining his composure despite being shot, and for ensuring public safety by returning fire at a dangerous fleeing felon.

Three civilians were honored for helping rescue a boy from the California Aqueduct in Hesperia. Despite tremendous confusion and chaos, Dustin DeYoung, Rod DeYoung and Jacob Robles feared there might be victims still in the water and began to search the area. Suddenly, Dustin, Rod and Jacob heard calls for help coming from a flow monitor buoy under the Main Street portion of the aqueduct. To their amazement, 8-year-old Elijah Madrid was clinging to the buoy cable, injured and crying for help in the freezing water.

In all, 42 citizens and deputies were honored. To watch a video of the ceremony, click on

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