Glendale police officers honored for service

Officer Bryan Duncan was running late to a drunk-driving enforcement operation on March 17 when he witnessed a major traffic collision on the Foothill (210) Freeway that quickly escalated into an inferno.

Duncan jumped off his motorcycle, ran toward the collision — which involved a Dodge Challenger and a Nissan Sentra — and began calling for emergency crews.

After Duncan and a passerby pulled the driver from the fiery Nissan, he tried using a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. At about the same time, a witness' shirt caught fire and Duncan put that out as well.

Moments later, he and other passersby returned to the Sentra and saved a passenger, who suffered burns on her left arm and leg.

But Duncan's work wasn't done, as he went on to extinguish the fire in the Dodge, saved the driver, who suffered severe head trauma, and rescued the passenger, who had a severed arm.

"Its fate," Duncan said of his presence at crash. "It was divine intervention."

Duncan's actions that day earned him the Medal of Heroism at the 18th annual Glendale Police Awards Luncheon on Thursday, which was presented by the Glendale Police Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale and the Glendale Bar Assn.

"It's great to be recognized for the things we do, and we put our lives on the line every day," Duncan said.

He and two dozen other Glendale police officers, detectives and sergeants were honored at the Hilton Glendale for their skills and acts of bravery and professionalism.

Police officials also recognized six residents who showed courage and provided valuable tips and help in several crimes, including a carjacking, a naked man chasing school children, and several burglaries.

Additionally, a dozen officers from Glendale, the Pasadena Police Department, the U.S. Marshal's Service and U.S. Secret Service earned Distinguished Services awards for identifying two men charged in the death of a missing Glendale man whose body was discovered in January in a shallow grave in Big Tujunga Canyon.

Surveillance video reportedly showed the men — Donald Thurman, 26, and Erik Pearson, 21, — using Nicholas Carter's bank and credit cards after he had gone missing.

The Officer of the Year award was given to Officer Peter Robinson, who was described by peers as a quiet leader with a "sixth sense in working the streets" and "an overall great street cop."

Robinson started his career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and later moving to the Glendale Police Department, where he has been on patrol duty for five years.

He has worked closely with community members to address complaints and traffic-related issues at Emerald Isle Park, resulting in a reduction of calls at night in the area. Robinson strictly enforced Residential Open Space laws in the Upper and Lower Scholl canyons.

For Robinson, the best part of working as a police officer is talking to different people and hearing their "interesting" stories.

"People say the truth is stranger than fiction — that's absolutely true," he said, adding that what he's seen has helped shape his life.

His duties will change soon, though, as he's been selected to mentor new officers as a field training officer. He's also become a member of the department's Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Robinson said the honor was "humbling," and said he tries to do the best he can.

18th Annual Glendale Police Awards Luncheon Winners

Marksmanship Awards:

First Place Overall – Officer Matthew Wilson

Second Place Overall – Officer Vincent Jackson

Third Place Overall – Sgt. Toby Darby

No Second Chance Top Shooter:

Officer Matthew Wilson

Community Service Awards:

Elizabeth Cruz

Oscar Emilio Anaya Hernandez

Isabelle Meyer

Roger Golightly

Arturo Hernandez

Tom McLaughlin

Heather Victor

Divisional Awards:

Officer Armando Montalvo

Officer Renae Kerner

Distinguished Service Awards:

Officer Juvan San Miguel

Officer Steven Koszis

Officer Bryan Duncan, Officer Ryan Gunn, Officer Art Obrusnik, Officer Ben Bateman Sr., Officer Matthew Bolton, Officer Marc Tarzia, Officer Vincent Jackson and Officer Mike Pobokhian

Officer Cameron Sanchez

Officer Justin Darby

Sgt. Jeff Newton

Det. Petros Kmbikyan

Det. Alex Krikorian

Det. Shawn Milligan

Det. Ralph Garcia

Det. Jonathan Owen

Det. Justin Darby

Det. Eric Meyer

Pasadena Police Department's Sgt. Vic Alaniz, Corporal David Llanes, Det. Tim Bundy

Inspector Toby Green, United States Marshal's Service

Special Agent Daryl Diamond, United States Secret Service

Medal of Heroism:

Officer Bryan Duncan

Volunteers of the Year:

Deborah Gardea

Marine Injigulyan

Civilian Employee of the Year:

Community Service Officer Anna Marie Diaz

Officer of the Year:

Officer Pete Robinson

Chief's Award of Excellence:

Capt. Ray Edey, retired


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

Copyright © 2019, Glendale News-Press
EDITION: California | U.S. & World