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Newark Sergeant Presented with Valor Award After Saving Suspect from Drowning

By kcora on

The 200 Club of Essex County presents a Valor Award to Sergeant Juan Gonzalez for his heroic actions following a stolen vehicle pursuit.

According to authorities, on Feb. 14th, 2017, Sgt. Gonzalez and other Newark police officers were following a vehicle that had been reported as stolen.

Officials said the suspect vehicle repeatedly ignored commands to pull over but eventually came to a stop at McCarter Highway and Center Street. The two suspects bailed out of the vehicle while the driver jumped into the Passaic River’s icy waters to evade capture.

That when authorities said that Gonzalez, ignoring injury and possible death, jumped into the river after seeing the suspect was floundering to keep his head above the churning waters.

Despite the possibility of drowning, the suspect attempted to swim away but the flailing actions of his arms and legs began to suck him under the frigid waters.

At this point, Gonzalez finally latched onto the struggling suspect and with tremendous risk and effort pulled him to shore where he was placed under arrest.

Authorities commend Sgt. Gonzalez for demonstrated extreme courage, dedication to duty and professionalism while placing his own life in jeopardy to save the life of a drowning suspect.

Photo Caption: Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose, Sergeant Juan Gonzalez, Newark Police Chief Darnell Henry, Sheriff Armando Fontoura