Arsonists often have sinister plans that involve causing the most amount of destruction possible. One arsonist in Florida was shooting for maximum damage.
While on patrol near a Shell gas station on October 29, 2013, Officer Gutierrez saw a person picking up the lid to two inground 8,000- gallon gasoline tanks. The person began to start a fire. If that fire were able to continue, it would have caused a massive explosion.
The impact would have demolished the gas station and killed everyone in the area. However, officer Gutierrez did not even hesitate. He immediately pulled into the gas station and hit the emergency shut-off valve.
After the valve was switched off, Gutierrez went to confront the suspect. The suspect had a knife and charged Gutierrez, stabbing him.
Fighting With the Suspect
Gutierrez was able to get the knife away from the suspect, but that was not the only weapon the suspect had. He also had a screwdriver.
He went after Gutierrez with the screwdriver attaching him. Gutierrez was suffering severe wounds at this point but was still fighting with the arsonist.
Gutierrez went for his gun. The suspect bit Gutierrez’s thumb. He almost bit all the way through. Gutierrez was able to get his gun out, He aimed and shot the suspect.
The suspect was killed by the shot.
By the time it was over, Gutierrez had wounds in his arms, hand, chest, stomach, and leg from the knife. His right thumb also had a bite wound.
Honored For His Bravery
If the wounds weren’t enough, he was on a prescription blood thinner at the time of the struggle. Airport District Motor Officer Juan Leon took Gutierrez to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
There he was treated for all of his injuries, and miraculously survived the brutal battle with the assailant. He was given the Congressional Badge of Bravery from Congresswomen Frederica Wilson.
He was also awarded the Public Safety Medal of Valor.