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Glendale police officers honored for service

Awards ceremony calls out those who have acted with skill, bravery.

May 16, 2013|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Glendale Police chief Ron De Pompa, left, gave officer Bryan Duncan the Medal of Heroism during the 18th Annual Glendale Police Awards Luncheon at the Glendale Hilton Hotel on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Officer Duncan saved people from a burning car.
Glendale Police chief Ron De Pompa, left, gave officer… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Officer Bryan Duncan was running late to a drunk-driving enforcement operation on March 17 when he witnessed a major traffic collision on the Foothill (210) Freeway that quickly escalated into an inferno.

Duncan jumped off his motorcycle, ran toward the collision — which involved a Dodge Challenger and a Nissan Sentra — and began calling for emergency crews.

After Duncan and a passerby pulled the driver from the fiery Nissan, he tried using a fire extinguisher to douse the flames. At about the same time, a witness' shirt caught fire and Duncan put that out as well.

Moments later, he and other passersby returned to the Sentra and saved a passenger, who suffered burns on her left arm and leg.

But Duncan's work wasn't done, as he went on to extinguish the fire in the Dodge, saved the driver, who suffered severe head trauma, and rescued the passenger, who had a severed arm.

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"Its fate," Duncan said of his presence at crash. "It was divine intervention."

Duncan's actions that day earned him the Medal of Heroism at the 18th annual Glendale Police Awards Luncheon on Thursday, which was presented by the Glendale Police Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale and the Glendale Bar Assn.

"It's great to be recognized for the things we do, and we put our lives on the line every day," Duncan said.

He and two dozen other Glendale police officers, detectives and sergeants were honored at the Hilton Glendale for their skills and acts of bravery and professionalism.

Police officials also recognized six residents who showed courage and provided valuable tips and help in several crimes, including a carjacking, a naked man chasing school children, and several burglaries.

Additionally, a dozen officers from Glendale, the Pasadena Police Department, the U.S. Marshal's Service and U.S. Secret Service earned Distinguished Services awards for identifying two men charged in the death of a missing Glendale man whose body was discovered in January in a shallow grave in Big Tujunga Canyon.

Surveillance video reportedly showed the men — Donald Thurman, 26, and Erik Pearson, 21, — using Nicholas Carter's bank and credit cards after he had gone missing.

The Officer of the Year award was given to Officer Peter Robinson, who was described by peers as a quiet leader with a "sixth sense in working the streets" and "an overall great street cop."

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