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Fullerton : American Legion Cites 2 Officers for Heroism

Two Fullerton police officers were recently honored by the 29th District of the American Legion for heroism in separate incidents in which they risked their lives while pursuing armed assailants.

Senior Officer John King, 27, was shot and wounded by an armed robber in April, 1985. While on a dinner break in a local restaurant, King was told by a passer-by that a robbery was going on at a nearby beauty salon. King was going to call on his hand-held radio for extra assistance but decided not to, according to a written announcement from Police Chief Martin Hairabedian. King changed his mind when he realized that the assailant might hear the call on the radio of King’s motorcycle, which was parked outside, and take hostages.

Instead, King chased the robbery suspect alone. He was shot in the head but still managed to call for help. The suspect was later arrested, and King has recovered fully.

Officer Sean Fares, 22, was honored for valor stemming from a March, 1985, incident that happened while he was off duty. Fares was driving by a restaurant when he saw two men arguing with a third. One of the two pulled a handgun and pointed it at the third before walking away.

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Fares parked his car, told the third man to call police and then followed the two other men on foot. He was unarmed, Hairabedian said in the statement. The gun-wielding man turned and fired at Fares, injuring a passer-by instead. The two men fled. When a detective arrived, Fares took her gun and pursued them. He caught one, and other officers caught the other.

Fares had graduated from the police academy only two months earlier, Hairabedian said.


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