Mr. Speaker, in the past month, four deputies of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office saved two lives. On a Sunday morning in early May, Deputies Jesse Leal and Rebecca Cruz were driving along I–45 when they came upon a man dangling from an I–45 overpass, apparently attempting to take his own life.
Covered in mud, oil, and water from a previous call, Leal pulled over and dashed to the side of the bridge. He and Cruz then leaned over the edge of the overpass, risking their own wellbeing, and began heaving the 21-year-old back onto the road.
Leal injured his knee in the process, but the two successfully pulled the young man to safety. In June, Deputy Blake McElhaney was driving home, exhausted after having worked the night shift.
On his way, he noticed an accident, a nasty one, on the side of the road. Although he was no longer on duty, McElhaney pulled over and jumped out of his car to help the victims.
Upon his arrival, he discovered an infant, just seven months old, trapped under a dashboard. He called for backup, and then proceeded to shield the helpless baby from glass.
Backup came in the form of Deputy Joe Leal. Leal rushed to the side of his partner and lifted the dashboard enough to take pressure off of the infant. The two continued to protect the small girl until the Spring Volunteer Fire Department arrived.
With their assistance, Leal raised the dashboard high enough to pull the baby out of the wrecked car safely. The girl was then life-flighted to a nearby hospital.
For their exceptional performance in the line of duty, these four members of the Thin Blue Line were awarded Deputy of the Month Awards by the HCSO for the months of May and June respectively. In true blue blood fashion, the deputies deflected credit of their heroic efforts to save the lives of two Houstonians, instead highlighting the assistance received from other first responders and ordinary citizens on site during both events.
Mr. Speaker, the men and women who wear the badge are a cut above the rest. Our peace officers protect us from harm, and these events further demonstrate how lucky we are to have such men and women as Deputies Rebecca Cruz, Jesse Leal, Joe Leal, and Blake McElhaney looking out for us.
And that is just the way it is.