PUEBLO – Two deputies were awarded the Medal of Valor at the 13th annual Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet on Friday.
The Medal of Valor is law enforcement’s highest honor and is presented for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism with selflessness, courage, and devotion to duty.
Master Deputy Anthony DeHerrera and Detective Byron Franklin were praised for the bravery they showed the morning of May 19, 2018, while responding to a suspicious vehicle call at a residence in Eastern Pueblo County.
The deputies made contact with a man at the residence who was wanted on several felony warrants. One of the deputies told the man he had outstanding warrants and asked him to walk toward the other deputy.
Instead, the man veered to the side, pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers. Both deputies fired their weapons, stopping the suspect from harming them and the citizens of Pueblo.
“The actions by these deputies’ were truly heroic. They faced fanger, yet they put the safety of the community before their own lives. Their work ethic is a testament to the bravery our deputies put forth daily to serve and protect this community,” Sheriff Kirk Taylor said.
This was Master Deputy DeHerrera’s second Medal of Valor award during his career. He was awarded for his actions in 1989 for rescuing a child from icy water in Baxter Pond.
Detention Deputy Dionicio Franklin was presented a Purple Heart for his determination and endurance after suffering a serious head injury in an assault by an inmate in December 2017.
Deputy Dionicio Franklin was serving food trays when he opened a cell door to serve a tray to an inmate when they kicked the door open, charged the deputy, took his baton from his duty belt, and repeatedly beat him with it. Deputy Franklin fought hard despite his head injury that required medical attention. He returned to work shortly after the incident.
A special plaque with photos and citations highlighting the heroic actions of the deputies will be placed permanently in the Sheriff’s Office Hall of Valor, located on the first floor of the Emergency Services Center.