Jul 26, 2014
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San Juan's Deputy of the Year a Hero

Dep. Pereya saved a baby not breathing last year and pulled a person from a burning car to safety in 2011.

San Juan's Deputy of the Year a Hero

It’s the type of call emergency responders dread getting the most: Baby not breathing.

In March 2012, Dep. Anton Pereyra, assigned to San Juan Capistrano Police Services, got just that kind of call.

He arrived to find, indeed, the baby had stopped breathing and had turned blue.

“Dep. Pereyra immediately began lifesaving techniques to clear the baby's airway,” according to a report to the San Juan Capistrano City Council. The council on Tuesday named Pereyra “Deputy of the Year.”

“The baby then began breathing, and ultimately made a full recovery,” the report states.

His heroics did not begin there. Last year, he was awarded for his 2011 efforts to pull a person to safety from a burning automobile in Dana Point, Lt. John Meyer, chief of police services for San Juan Capistrano told the City Council Tuesday.

“He’s just a fine officer,” he said.

Pereyra is a 13-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, serving in the city since 2010. Working the midnight shift, he’s known for making numerous arrests, with many of those involving felony violations, the city staff report states.

The deputy is in the top percentile of “self-initiated activity,” which city staff has declared remarkable because Pereyra is also in the top percentile of assigned activity.

In other words, he’s really busy!

“Many of Dep. Pereyra's arrests were of documented gang members. Some of the crimes  that  these  gang  members were arrested  for  included  robbery,  assaults,  drug  use  and/or  possession  and  property crimes,” according to the staff report.

The city has been naming one officer “deputy of the year” since 1990.

“This year the selection was very easy for all of us,” Meyer said. “It was pretty much a unanimous decision.”

Pereyra is a field training officer, a member of the Critical Incident Response Team, an Explorer Instructor I mentor and a member of the  San  Juan Capistrano Police Services bike team. 

“He is truly an asset to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the city of San Juan Capistrano,” the report states.

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