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MEDAL OF COURAGE & LIFESAVING: Saved juvenile from jumping off a bridge

MEDAL OF COURAGE & LIFESAVING: Saved juvenile from jumping off a bridge

On June 15, 2019 at approximately 1 a.m., Aliso Viejo deputies were dispatched to Alicia Parkway and California State Route 73 reference a juvenile who was threatening to jump from an overpass into oncoming traffic. 

Deputy Yannizzi was the first deputy to arrive on scene.  Recognizing the juvenile’s perilous position, he immediately engaged the young lady in conversation.  Within minutes, Deputies Perkins, Munguia, Byrne and Sergeant Steinle arrived. 

As Deputy Yannizzi continued to talk to the distraught juvenile, Deputies Perkins, Munguia and Byrne all reached through the chain link fencing and grabbed a piece of her clothing.  Together they pulled the young lady taut against the fence.  The juvenile struggled to get away saying, “Let me go.”

Sergeant Steinle retrieved bolt cutters from his patrol vehicle and began cutting a hole in the fence around the victim while the deputies temporarily restrained her.  As soon as the hole was big enough, Deputy Byrne reached through the fence and grabbed firmly onto the young lady’s arm, trapping it against the inside of the fencing. 

Sergeant Steinle continued cutting the fence until there was a hole large enough for him to attempt the rescue.  Working as a team, the deputies held onto the young lady’s clothing and simultaneously held onto Sergeant Steinle’s legs so that he could lean outside the safety of the fence and grab the young lady.  With one swift motion, Sergeant Steinle wrapped his arms around the juvenile and the team helped pull them both off the ledge and through the opening in the fence.  The juvenile was taken to the hospital for further evaluation. 

The deputies were honored at this year’s Medal of Valor ceremony.