Five residents displaying acts of heroism and devotion to their community received awards on Wednesday from the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara, and city officials during a luncheon at Mesa Café. The Citizen Extra Step Awards are presented annually to those demonstrating bravery by aiding Santa Barbara police.
This year’s recipients are Joseph Serna, Rudolf Jung, Jeff Buchanan, Raul Hernandez, and Lazaro Hernandez.
“This is a great opportunity to give law enforcement the chance to acknowledge people who have gone out of their way to make Santa Barbara a safer place,“ said past Kiwanis Club president Dr. Arthur Najera.
Serna helped arrest a drunk driver in January when he saw an intoxicated man at Santa Barbra and Cota streets drive away in a car. Serna then called the police and followed the car to a restaurant, where he waited until the police arrived.
Jung and Buchanan assisted in the return of a stolen bicycle in November. Jung saw a man riding what he thought was his friend’s bike. He approached the man and engaged in a negotiation with him to no avail — the man suddenly took off and Jung chased after him by foot down Haley Street. Buchanan was leaving his house when he saw the biker and Jung, and he cornered the biker against the curb. Buchanan was met by a group of transients who proceeded to defend the biker before Buchanan called the police.
Raul Hernandez and Lazaro Hernandez intervened in an assault on a park ranger in March. The two men heard a disturbance in Vera Cruz Park and saw the park ranger held down by an intoxicated man. They pulled the man off and helped with his arrest.