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La Cañada Unified employees honored for helping to thwart attempted carjacking

La Cañada Unified employees honored for helping to thwart attempted carjacking
Four La Cañada Unified employees, from left, Alvin Jones, Melvin Jones, Eliseo Williams and Carl Paynewere recognizedfor their role in preventing a Feb. 15 carjacking outside La Cañada High School. (Photo by Sara Cardine)

Four La Cañada Unified School District employees received commendations at Tuesday night's school board meeting for their role in thwarting a Feb. 15 attempted carjacking that took place in front of La Cañada High School.

Carl Payne, Melvin Jones, Alvin Jones and Eliseo Williams — maintenance and operations employees at the school — were on campus at around 6:57 p.m. that evening when three minors from Altadena approached a 13-year-old, who was sitting alone in a car, and demanded he hand the vehicle over to them.

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The men intervened and called the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station. The three suspects fled the scene and ran into nearby Hahamongna Watershed Park, where they were eventually caught, placed into custody and sent to juvenile hall, according to a sheriff's detective.

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On Tuesday, school board members joined sheriff's Deputy Eric Matejka in thanking the men. With help from the city's chamber of commerce, each man was awarded a $100 gift certificate. They also received certificates of recognition and a standing ovation.

"I'm not a hero," custodian Alvin Jones said of his actions that night. "It's something I think anybody would do to help someone."

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Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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