Not all heroes wear capes, or even police badges, says Interim Pasadena Police Chief John Perez, who envisions a safer Pasadena shaped by the bravery of citizens who act decisively in times of danger when there is no other option.
On Thursday at the 2018 Pasadena Police & Citizen Awards Ceremony in West Pasadena Perez honored two such citizens who risked their lives to apprehend a dangerous man wielding a knife in the kind split-second decision where a safe outcome can never be guaranteed.
Perez says the two men are prime examples of the potential impact citizen bravery can have on future generations and ensure a safer future for all.
“Citizen involvement is important right now because when we have true community involvement and when everyone is engaged together, then we’ll be able to truly take care of one another,” said Perez.
“We’re trying to connect all of the elements of policing with the community, with the local government, and neighborhoods, and if we don’t all become models for our younger people, it doesn’t go on for generations to come,” he added.
Perez says the 2018 Pasadena Police & Citizen Awards theme, “Building the Future
through Excellence”, is a personal message to the community.
“Today’s environment is demanding, requiring leadership, courage, and a willingness to get involved in making a difference,” said Perez. “We’re lucky we have people like that willing to stand up, willing to have to courage, willing to take action, and willing to be part of the community to take action.
Gerald Pulley and Miguel Bugarin are two citizens and Pasadena Central Library security guards who rose to the occasion in apprehending a dangerous person while on duty as security guards at the Pasadena Central Library on August 11, 2017.
As the library was about to close, Pulley approached a man conversing loudly on a cell phone and disturbing other patrons. After Pulley asked the man to take his call outside, the man became aggressive and threatened to kill Gerald.
Pulley walked to the rear parking lot of the library ss the man became increasingly aggressive and followed him with a set of bladed brass knuckles.
Concerned that the man was going to harm him or the other patrons at the library, Pulley took the opportunity to tackle and disarm the man.
Fellow security guard Miguel Bugarin heard the commotion in the parking lot and saw his co-worker wrestling with an armed individual.
Fearful that his partner would be gravely injured, Miguel quickly ran to assist Gerald, and both men were eventually able to disarm the man.
“It could have turned on them or turned into a different type of situation and we’re there for each other and that’s what counts,” said Perez.
According to the Pasadena Police Dept., Pulley and Bugarin’s swift actions resulted in the successful apprehension of a subject armed with a deadly weapon and a threat to others.
“It could have turned on them or turned into a different type of situation and we’re there for each other and that’s what counts.
“[Citizens] have to have the confidence to be willing to do that. It’s an essential piece of it for them to have confidence and know that we’re going to be there for them,” said Perez.