2 local lawmen get state valor medals

2 local lawmen get state valor medals


SAN DIEGO — Two San Diego-area lawmen were among 14 officers who received state medals of valor Thursday from Gov. Jerry Brown.

San Diego Police DepartmentSheriff’s Deputy Michael Spears and San Diego police Officer Michael DeWitt earned the recognition for actions they took a year ago during a 15- minute shootout with a child molestation suspect in Lakeside.

“Character, leadership and being able to act in difficult and uncertain circumstances — that’s what we honor today,” the governor said during a midday ceremony in Sacramento.

On Sept. 25, 2012, Spears was among a team of deputies who went to an apartment near El Capitan High School on a report that a man there had sexually assaulted his live-in girlfriend’s two young daughters.

When Sgt. Craig Johnson and child abuse Detective Ali Perez forced entry to the residence, suspect Daniel Robert Witczak allegedly opened fire with a high-powered rifle, seriously wounding them.

Spears shielded…

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