Sheriff’s Message, Week of May 3rd,
What a busy week of law enforcement memorials and graduations, as we recognized some of our own for long overdue acts of heroism. Commander Rob Hall was awarded a law enforcement purple heart for the serious injuries he received as a jail deputy in 1992. During a preplanned jail escape, two inmates got into the control room and beat Deputy Hall with an iron bar. As he fought back, he was able to get out a distress call over the dispatch intercom system. Responding deputies found Rob seriously injured, and caught the two inmates as they were trying to escape through the roof’s fire escape system. Many jail security features were made after this incident that protected future jail deputies.
Deputies Jeff Peebles and Bill McDaniel were awarded lifesaving medals for reviving a 74 year old woman with CPR in a 2013 incident. Although attempts to recognize their act of heroism were made after the event by their area lieutenant, the award submission seems to have been lost. It was recently resubmitted and they finally received their long overdue recognition.
In February 2013, Deputy Chris Bixby was dispatched to a “shots fired” call in Stagecoach, where he found a female in the driver’s seat of her car. She had been shot in the chest by her husband and in need of immediate medical care. Deputy Bixby tried getting her out of the vehicle when he saw the husband still in the house. He made repeated attempts at ordering the husband out of the house. He moved around to the passenger side, thereby placing the vehicle between himself and the house for greater security. He then tried extracting the victim out the passenger door, who was seriously injured.
The husband then appeared on the front porch with a rifle. Deputy Bixby repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon. The husband refused to comply, took a covered position behind the door frame, and began rotating the rifle towards the deputy and victim. With no other peaceful option, Deputy Bixby shot through the door frame and struck the husband, who now lay in the doorway. Bixby then extracted the victim out of the vehicle and passed her onto arriving deputies for medical care. He then continued watching the husband until enough deputies arrived to take the husband into custody and give him medical care.
Joseph Robustelli is currently serving a 20 year sentence for shooting his wife, Sherri. What saddens me was that no formal recognition had ever been given to Deputy Bixby for his bravery, courage, and heroism. On Wednesday, he was awarded our 3rd highest award, a Meritorious Service Medal (behind a Medal of Valor and LE Purple Heart). On Friday, he received a Survivor Plaque from the James D. Hoff committee during its annual memorial service in Reno. Deputy Bixby is the first Lyon County Deputy Sheriff to receive such an award during it 28 years of memorial recognition.
On Wednesday, Deputies Andrew Grimmer and Kyle Jones graduated the police academy in Carson City. We look forward to getting them back to work after a 3 ½ month academy. Thursday was the state memorial where our Honor Guard participates annually. Although I haven’t been to a service in 12 years, the memorial service leadership has done an excellent job in making the service exceptionally memorable, as they enshrined two Las Vegas deputies who died in the line of duty last year. I do not believe there was a dry eye in the entire place.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Mathew 5:9)