When Cory Livingston moved from Oregon to North Hollywood three years ago, he knew that he would see some unusual things. But he never guessed that he would witness a killing.
Livingston not only saw the crime, he helped police catch a suspect.
For that help, Livingston was among seven local residents given citizen hero awards Thursday for helping police nab criminals in the area patrolled by the North Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Livingston, Jacquelyn A. Ruffner of North Hollywood and an unidentified Studio City man were honored for their help in the April 8 capture of John Sauberan, 37, a transient who allegedly fatally stabbed transient Rodney E. Zales, 40, outside a post office at 11340 Chandler Blvd.
The trio trailed Sauberan for several blocks after the stabbing, calling police along the route. Sauberan was later arrested by officers and charged with murder, police said.
Also honored were Studio City residents Sandy Nassour, her teen-age son, Brian, and Sandy Pozzo and her teen-age son, Victor. The morning of April 24, the quartet helped police catch two of six suspects who allegedly burglarized a clothing store in the 12400 block of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.
Informed that the suspects were still in the area, the four--all members of a Neighborhood Watch--spotted two of the suspects and pointed them out to police, who made a third arrest on their own.
Charges have been filed against two of the suspects: Felipe Mendoza, 18, of North Hollywood and Jose Madrigal, 19, of Santa Ana.
The seven residents, who were honored at the First Presbyterian Church in North Hollywood, also received the "Studio City Cares Award" from the Studio City Residents Assn.
Police Sgt. Rick Webb was one of those who praised the residents. "They took positive action, but they didn't take steps to endanger themselves or the public," he said.
Livingston, 24, believes that the experience will better help him survive in Los Angeles. "It taught me you need to keep your eyes open because this is the big city," he said. "The worst thing I saw in Oregon was probably a traffic accident."