Fontana officers are honored for safely arresting violent suspect | News

Two Fontana Police Department officers have been honored for their ability to safely arrest a violent suspect who attacked one of them during an incident earlier this year.

Officers Mario Mancha and Brad Terwilliger were named the P.D.’s Employees of the Month for June, and they were officially recognized during a City Council meeting in July.

The dangerous incident occurred on June 6, when the officers responded to the 17100 block of Reed Street in reference to a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO) violation.

Upon arrival, Mancha determined that while a valid DVRO had been obtained, the service process had not yet been completed. The officers contacted the subject of the DVRO, informed him of the order, advised him paperwork would be completed to finish the service process, and allowed him an acceptable amount of time to gather his belongings before vacating the property, police said.

However, during the next several minutes, the subject began acting in a bizarre way as he retrieved items from a shed in the rear yard, police said. This behavior caused Terwilliger to be concerned for his safety, so he unholstered his taser as a precaution.

Moments later, as Mancha attempted to complete service of the DVRO, the subject emerged from the shed armed with a 3-spike cultivator rake. The subject charged out of the shed toward Mancha, raising the rake above his head and striking downward toward Mancha’s head.

Mancha reacted quickly by moving away from the suspect while simultaneously using his hands and arms to deflect the rake away from his head. The rake ultimately struck Mancha in his upper back, tearing his shirt, and slightly puncturing the rear panel of his Kevlar vest.

Terwilliger also reacted quickly and deployed his taser at the subject. He immediately transitioned to his firearm in the event the taser deployment was ineffective. However, the taser deployment was effective, and the subject dropped to the ground, releasing his grasp of the rake.

The officers promptly placed the subject under arrest in a calm and professional manner, said Fontana P.D. Sergeant Scott Snyder.

“Both Officers Mancha and Terwilliger are to be commended for their outstanding judgement, their actions, and their professionalism during this situation, which was tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving,” Snyder said.

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