Fontana officers are honored after they help arrest armed robbery suspect and comfort the victim | News

Because of their ability to help arrest an armed robbery suspect while also comforting the young victim of the crime, three officers were honored as the Fontana Police Department’s Employees of the Month for May.

Officer Toni Lozano and Officer Jon Gearhart were recognized during a recent City Council meeting. Officer Taylor Hymas was also one of the honorees but did not attend the meeting.

On May 17, officers were dispatched to a robbery of a bicycle at a grocery store on Foothill Boulevard. During the robbery, the suspect assaulted the victim and brandished a firearm, threatening to shoot the victim for his bike by pulling the slide back and racking the weapon to further instill fear.

Hymas and Lozano took the report and collected detailed information, broadcasting a report of the suspect to assisting units.

Hymas and Lozano saw that the victim in this case was very upset and clearly shaken from the incident, said Police Chief Billy Green.

“They went above and beyond to show compassion toward the victim in this most traumatic event and spent extra time with the victim until he was comfortable and with family before leaving,” Green said.

The officers conducted an extensive area check; however, they were unable to locate the suspect.

But about an hour later, Gearhart located a subject matching the description nearly 1.5 miles from the robbery with the stolen bicycle. Gearhart attempted contact with the subject, and he fled on the stolen bike. Gearhart gave chase for about three quarters of a mile through a neighborhood and relayed the information to assisting units.

While Gearhart pursued the suspect, he observed the subject throw a black handgun as he continued to flee. The suspect was ultimately apprehended in a nearby park.

Hymas and Lozano conducted infield lineups with the victim and got a positive identification of the suspect. The victim, still overwhelmed from the robbery and the swift apprehension of the suspect, was extremely grateful for the return of his bicycle and for the professionalism of Hymas and Lozano and their care and concern for his well being even after the suspect was apprehended.

“The officers’ swift action and attention to detail most likely prevented additional street side robberies with this suspect and left a positive influence on a citizen in the city during a very traumatic event,” Green said.

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