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MEDAL OF COURAGE & LIFESAVING: Deputies stop man with machete

MEDAL OF COURAGE & LIFESAVING: Deputies stop man with machete

On January 19, 2018 at 4:15 p.m., Deputies Anthony Garza, Robert Tomasko, Jason McLennan, Paul Chiron and Charles Johnson responded to Walmart in Lake Forest reference a suspect wearing a mask and carrying a machete.

Before deputies could arrive, the suspect left Walmart in his vehicle. Dispatch received another call stating the same vehicle was at another business down the street. The suspect then ignited a briefcase in the business parking lot, where it later exploded. The suspect left and drove to another business location on the west side of Lake Forest, where he was now armed with a gun, as well as the machete. The suspect robbed the business of a glass pipe and fled the scene.

The suspect then drove his vehicle to a residential neighborhood where he parked and began walking around.  The suspect approached a man that was walking his dog and began brandishing his firearm and machete. The man immediately ran to his backyard to warn his wife. Unfortunately, his wife was opening the front door when he was in the backyard and she was confronted by the suspect. The suspect attacked his wife causing a laceration to her head and then forced entry into the home. The suspect ran through the home, into the backyard, jumped over the backyard fence and ran to the end of a cul-de-sac.

Deputy McLennan arrived and immediately confronted the suspect in the street, ordering him to drop his gun and machete. Deputies Garza, Johnson, Tomasko and Chiron arrived to assist. The suspect refused all commands from deputies and a shooting occurred.

Deputies immediately secured the suspect and began life-saving measures. They were able to stabilize the suspect, who was taken to the hospital and survived his injuries.  

They were honored at this year’s Medal of Valor Ceremony with the Medal of Courage and the Medal for Lifesaving for their actions that day.