Three officers honored for thwarting machete-wielding suspect

Tom Kennedy

Three officers were recognized in the HPOU May general membership meeting as the Union’s Patrol Officers of the Month.

The three were Officers L. Castillo, J. Perez and R. Luna.

Sgt. Michael Reutzel read the citation at the meeting, detailing the details of a dispatch to a weapon disturbance where the suspect was armed with a large knife and possibly a gun.

“The suspect was high on drugs and was using a machete to break out the windows to the house at the location,” the sergeant explained. “The suspect was trying to get into the location. When the officers arrived the suspect was chasing the complainant around attempting to hit him with the machete.”

The officers’ arrival drew the suspect’s attention and he reacted by charging at them with the large knife raised like he wanted to strike them.

“The officers backed up from the suspect until they could not back up any further without putting their own lives in danger,” the sergeant said. “At  this point the officers had no other safe options to escape from the oncoming attack.

“Officers Castillo and Perez discharged their firearms, striking the suspect. They suspect fell to the ground. Once the suspect finally dropped the weapon the officers approached him and placed him in hand restrains.”

The suspect was then taken to the hospital.

In commemorating the officers for  their highly professional tactics, Sgt. Reutzel pointed out that they arrived as the suspect was chasing the complainant “who could have been killed.”

The sergeant said, “They arrived just in time to save his life. I want to commend these officers for their bravery and dedication on that day and every day.”