The DSA was recently made aware of the below incident that occurred in the the City of Orinda, which is patrolled by Deputy Sheriffs. I am sharing this story with you to show Mr. Dewitt our appreciation, not to encourage the citizens of Contra Costa County to put themselves in danger. That being said, Mr. Dewitt thank you for being there for one of our brothers.
August 25, 2016
Mr. Jason Dewitt,
On the afternoon of August 19, 2016, Orinda police officers attempted to contact a subject that had just committed a theft from a local retailer. Officer Ladner began to chase the subject on foot through the Theater Square shopping center. As Officer Ladner closed the distance between himself and the suspect, the suspect decided he would rather fight with Officer Ladner. Rather than continue to run away or comply with Officer Ladner’s lawful orders to stop running and cooperate, the suspect turned around and assaulted Officer Ladner by punching him in the face.
Officer Ladner then engaged in a violent struggle with the suspect, the suspect continuing to physically resist and conceal his hands beneath his body. Officer Ladner was only able to apply his handcuffs to one of the suspect’s hands and was fighting with the suspect, attempting to gain control of the second hand and place him in handcuffs. It was at this point, while enjoying coffee at a nearby restaurant, that you heard the struggle and Officer Ladner’s commands to the suspect.
With complete disregard for your own safety, you approached Officer Ladner; actively fighting with the suspect, and asked if he needed help. Officer Ladner stated, “Yes.” Without hesitation you assisted Officer Ladner in gaining control of the suspect’s free hand and successfully placed him in handcuffs. Your assistance prevented further injury to Officer Ladner. Furthermore, without your assistance, the suspect’s continued fighting and resistance would have likely resulted in Officer Ladner having to escalate his own use of force. Your assistance prevented the escalation of force and likely prevented injury to the suspect.
The actions you took were nothing less than selfless and courageous. You took these actions not knowing if the suspect was armed with a weapon. Additionally, you took these actions not knowing that the suspect you were helping to detain had a long and violent criminal history. The Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association could never express how sincerely grateful we are for your assistance. Your actions are an incredible reminder of our community’s appreciation and support for our services.