Hero SWAT Team Member Speaks

Michael Pittman

After three days of gunfire and flash bangs, the enduring image of Sacramento's longest running hostage standoff will be Detective Orrlando Mayes carrying 16-month-old Michael Pittman, Jr. to safety. Mayes, an 11-year SWAT member says when the "go" signal was given -- he didn't know he'd be the one carrying the baby out of the line of fire.

"I was doing my job and then the baby was there and I grabbed the baby and I got the baby to safety. I just happned to be the one, it could have been any one of my teammates," says Mayes. During the chaos, little Michael was handed to Mayes through a window, and despite the final, fatal shootout between Sacramento County SWAT and the child's captor, Anthony Alvarez, Mayes says the toddler didn't make a peep.

"He was kinda stunned a little bit and he was just looking around and checking out his environment, but he seemed like he was in pretty good health overall when I initially got him and I was running to paramedics and fire," says Mayes.

Mayes says in fact, the little boy stayed calm, even stoic the entire time he was with him. "The entire time he didn't cry at all. I played with the child with the rabbit we had in there, and he laughed with me and didn't cry at all. "

A father himself, Mayes says he was just happy to help and to end the standoff.

"It did have an impact on me. My kids were able to watch it on the tv and they said they felt good about it too, and they were proud of me that I brought that child out, as well, so that felt good as a father," Mayes says.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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