Los Angeles

Five ‘Courageous Citizens' Honored

A man who rescued a pit bull who had been thrown twice into a ravine by the dog's owner in the City Terrace area of Los Angeles was among five people honored today by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey with Courageous Citizen Awards.

Krisanto Paragas, 30, of Los Angeles was lauded for going to the aid of the dog -- then known as Mary Jane -- after she was thrown into a ravine in the 1300 block of Luella Drive in September 2016. Paragas subsequently refused to turn the dog back over to her owner, told him that police had been called and gave authorities home surveillance video that showed what had occurred, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The dog's owner, Andres Spancky Raya, pleaded no contest last August to a felony animal cruelty charge and an unrelated residential burglary. He was sentenced last September to two years in state prison on the animal cruelty charge, which he will serve at the same time as his five-year sentence on the burglary case. The dog -- which was subsequently re-named Hera Grrl -- has since been adopted.

Also honored with Courageous Citizen Awards at a ceremony hosted by the Rotary Club of Westchester were: -- Steve Oseas, 52, of Los Angeles, who ran to a woman's aid in December 2016 after he saw her being attacked by a man in an alley near the wood yard Oseas managed in West Los Angeles.

Oseas chased after Christopher Jones and held him down despite an altercation that left Oseas with two broken ribs, according to the District Attorney's Office. Jones subsequently pleaded no contest to assault likely to produce great bodily injury and was sentenced to six years in state prison. -- Brent Glonchak, 40, of Buena Park, Heidi Manzanares, 48, of Corona, and Mark Ayala, 22, of Whittier, who went to the aid of a woman being attacked by her ex-boyfriend in Whittier in August 2016.

Glonchak and Manzanares -- Los Angeles County firefighters -- were on an unrelated call nearby. Glonchak tackled Christian Leon, and Manzanares and Ayala helped him to restrain the man by using bandages until police arrived, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Leon was subsequently convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for injuring his ex-girlfriend, and was sentenced last March to three years in state prison. "Every time someone steps in to help another in distress, our community grows stronger," Lacey said. "Our county is a safer place now that these heroes have helped in the prosecution of three violent criminals."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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