Three people were honored by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, each had played vital roles in the prosecution of violent crimes in the communities of Lakewood, Santa Monica, and Vernon. According to District Attorney Lacey, the three honorees had put themselves in harm’s way, while in the pursuit of justice. “I commend their boldness, integrity, and grit, and thank them for helping my office put these dangerous criminals behind bars,” she said.
According to District Attorney Lacey, the three honorees had put themselves in harm’s way, while in the pursuit of justice. “I commend their boldness, integrity, and grit, and thank them for helping my office put these dangerous criminals behind bars,” she said. The D.A.’s office recognized a teenager whose expert thinking led authorities to his brother’s killer, a construction worker who tracked an animal abuser until he was arrested by police, as well as a man who chased down and held down a mugger.
The D.A.’s office awards citizens four times a year, people who have performed extraordinary acts of valor and selflessness in assisting in the prosecution of criminals, saving victims, preventing crime or even capturing suspects.
The honorees included Timoteo Salomon Evora Vigil, of South El Monte. His older brother had been lured to a home in Lynwood, where he was fatally shot by the husband of one of his friends. The suspect hid his body in his own car and abandoned the vehicle in San Bernardino. Later, Timoteo Salomon Evora Vigil learned about his brother’s death when he logged on to his brother’s social media account and found messages from the assailant. He then gave police all the information he uncovered, which helped to solve his brother’s murder, providing key prosecution evidence in the trial. The jury convicted the defendant of capital murder, arson as well as other crimes; he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on March 29th.
The second of the honorees, Douglas Randazzo of Simi Valley, was rewarded for ordering an assailant to get off of a bus, and then continued to track him until police arrived and detained him. On June 12th, a woman who was walking through a Santa Monica alleyway was confronted by the assailant who kicked her 10-pound dog, Teddy. After she confronted him, the assailant yelled obscenities and threatened to fight her, Randazzo who was working at a nearby construction site saw this and directed others to the site to call the police and stop the woman to get her information. He then followed the assailant, to the point of getting on the same bus, where he ordered the man off the bus, following him until the police arrived and detained him. The defendant pleaded no contest to cruelty to an animal, on June 28th, and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
The third person to be honored, Francisco Soria Diaz of Rosemead, stopped an attempted robbery and detained him until the police arrived. In early August at a Vernon bus stop, a 55-year old woman was waiting for her bus when a man suddenly approached her and tried to steal her purse. She held onto her handbag as she was dragged nearly 50 feet. The man finally gave up and started to run away as she did not surrender her purse. That was when Diaz who was getting out of his work truck witnessed the attempted robbery and pursued the attacker. The 19-year old defendant pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree robbery and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
This year’s luncheon ceremony was hosted by the LA5 Rotary Club of Los Angeles at the Staples Center’s Lexus Club.