San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón Awards Good Samaritans for Their Heroism
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2014
Alex Bastian (415) 553-1931
Maxwell Szabo (415) 553-9089
Four Individuals Honored for Putting Themselves in Harms Way to Help those in Need and Ensure Justice was Served
SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón hosted the first annual Good Samaritan Awards Ceremony today to honor citizens for their bravery. Four individuals were honored for intervening in situations where a victim was in danger or for testifying to ensure justice prevailed.
"Whether in the community or inside a courtroom, these individuals put themselves in harms way to help others," said District Attorney George Gascón. "These men and women deserve recognition for their heroism, and for stepping in to protect a stranger. The victims in these cases may not be alive today if not for the courage of these good samaritans. Due to their efforts law enforcement was able to arrest and successfully prosecute these criminals."
The four individuals honored were nominated by prosecutors in the District Attorney's Office. The Good Samaritans awarded were Irma Iniquez, Michael Mazzaferro, Jose Jimenez, and Durrell Sanders. As a small token of appreciation, members of the board of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association donated gift certificates to the awardees.
"The Golden Gate Restaurant Association is pleased to give gift certificates from our fine establishments to honor these incredible San Franciscans for their courage and fearlessness," said Gwyneth Borden, the executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.
Irma Iniguez and Michael Mazzaferro were integral to the successful arrest and conviction in the case of People vs. Gonzalez. The victim in this case was walking down the street when she was grabbed by her neck. She screamed as the defendant punched her multiple times. Mr. Mazzagerro was driving by when he witnessed the assault occurring. He got out of the car and called out to the suspect to stop. He then proceeded to chase the suspect for two blocks before flagging down police. Ms. Iniguez also witnessed the assault and yelled at the suspect to stop. She followed him in her car and circled back to check on the victim afterwards. Due to the testimony of both Mr. Mazzaferro and Ms. Iniguez the suspect was successfully convicted.
Jose Jimenez was awarded for intervening when a victim was being brutally assaulted by eight men. He drove by and circled the block before exiting his vehicle in an attempt to stop the attack. The group of men proceeded to attack Mr. Jimenez instead. Mr. Jimenez suffered six stab wounds to his upper back and two to his lower right stomach. He spent two days in the hospital and the wounds took weeks to heal. Mr. Jimenez's courage exemplifies the meaning of a good samaritan. He truly put his own life in danger to help a stranger.
Durrell Sanders was crucial in identifying the suspect in the matter of the People vs. Porter-Bailey. During the Pink Saturday festivities in 2013 a victim was kicked in the head for her purse. The incident was captured on video and widely reported by the media. Mr. Sanders saw the video of the incident and immediately recognized the suspect. He called police and gave critical information which led to an arrest. Mr. Sanders came forward and testified because, in his words, "it was the right thing to do." The defendant was sentenced to 6 years in state prison this past Friday.
"These acts remind us that we must reward good people who do good things. We are grateful to each of you for all you did to help those in need," said District Attorney George Gascón.