FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A tow truck driver was honored Wednesday after his quick thinking helped protect two Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies as they struggled to place a wanted parolee under arrest last year.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office honored Christopher Martinez for his actions during the Fresno & Madera Counties Police Chiefs Association’s Annual Citizens Awards in Clovis.
On March 11, 2020, Martinez was driving his flatbed tow truck near McKinley and Cedar avenues when he spotted a deputy trying to detain a man on the sidewalk.
The Sheriff’s Office says the suspect started to become combative with the deputy before a struggle broke out between them.
During the struggle, the suspect reportedly tried to grab the deputy’s handgun out of his holster several times. The struggle continued until one round was fired from the holstered gun, striking the deputy in the leg.
After hearing the gunshot, Martinez looked over and saw the fight between the suspect and deputy had ended up in the roadway, where there was heavy traffic.
Martinez decided to block both lanes of traffic with his truck to ensure the deputy and suspect were not hit by a vehicle during the struggle.
Soon after, an off-duty deputy arrived in the area and tackled the suspect, causing both of them to fall in the middle of the street.
Both deputies were eventually able to place the suspect under arrest as Martinez continued to block the roadway.
The deputy who was shot was treated for a minor injury and returned to work soon after.