Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, together with Sheriff Jim McDonnell, honored three women for coming to the aid of a deputy who suffered a heart attack while on duty in Compton.
Briana Bolden, Shakinna Smith and Chantae Miller rushed to help Sgt. Al Lopez, a 26-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), after he collapsed in his patrol car on October 24.
“During these tenuous times, where law enforcement and community relations are frayed, your example shows us all what it means to be a engaged member of the community, a caring neighbor and a selfless human being,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said while presenting each woman with a scroll lauding their heroism.
Sheriff McDonnell also presented scrolls to the women, expressing the gratitude of the LASD. “These three women took it upon themselves to do what they could to render aid and help try to save (Sgt. Lopez’) life,” he said. “We are very, very, thankful for that.”
Bolden graciously accepted the award on behalf of the group, and explained that when they tried to help Sgt. Lopez that day – which happened to be her 21st birthday – “We did what we had to do.”
Bolden had been driving with Smith and Miller near Willowbrook Avenue and Myrrh Street when she observed an LASD patrol car roll slowly through the intersection against a red light, then hit a fence before coming to a stop. Finding Sgt. Lopez unconscious behind the wheel, Miller ran a quarter of a mile to the nearby Compton Sheriff’s Station to alert his fellow deputies. Smith tried to open the patrol car to render aid, and Bolden flagged down a radio car to report the emergency.
Responding deputies administered first aid and rushed Sgt. Lopez to St. Francis Hospital, but he did not recover. Supervisor Ridley-Thomas offered condolences to his family.