The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office was honored to participate in the 2022 Kiwanis Club annual Extra Step Award. The Sheriff’s Office has nominated four citizens for their outstanding efforts in Santa Barbara County communities.
On Wednesday, the citizens were honored during a ceremony along with nominees from the Santa Barbara Police Department and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office.
Sonia Aguila and Shanna Hargett were the first two honorees.
On October 20, 2021, Carpinteria patrol deputies responded to a report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian traffic accident at the intersection of Linden Avenue and Malibu Drive, across from Canalino School. The school had recently let out, so the pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area had increased. The first deputy who arrived found a chaotic scene with a large crowd standing near a female lying on the ground. As the deputy assessed the scene, he noticed that community member Sonia Aguila was directing traffic, sending vehicular traffic around the scene and onto Malibu Drive. Ms. Aguila remained on the scene until she was relieved by first responders. Deputies later learned that Ms. Aguila had just picked up her child from Carpinteria High School and stopped to help rather than going home.
Shanna Hargett, also stepped up to help during this call. Ms. Hargett was by the victim’s side providing care when deputies arrived on scene. Deputies later learned that Ms. Hargett had called 911 and assisted the call taker with providing information needed by first responders.Ms. Hargett not only provided first aid, but comfort and reassurance to the victim, who was not only injured, but scared and worried about her four dogs which she had been walking just prior to the accident. All the dogs were recovered and one was taken to the vet for minor injuries. Both Sonia Aguila and Shanna Hargett went out of their way, taking extra steps, not only helping first responders, but coming to the aid of a fellow community member in their time of need.
John Ornelas was the third honoree, an on-site property manager for an apartment complex located in the 100 block of Orange Avenue in Goleta.
On November 9, 2021, he was home when he was notified concerning a fire in one of the apartments. Mr. Ornelas ran to the apartment where he found it filled with smoke. Mr. Ornelas was familiar with the resident, and knew she was home and had recently had surgery. He attempted to enter the apartment, but the smoke was too thick and he could see flames inside. Mr. Ornelas called out to the resident and she called back, confirming his suspicion that he was inside. Mr. Ornelas obtained a fire extinguisher and gave it to another citizen who had arrived on scene to help. Mr. Ornelas then ran to call 911. As Mr. Ornelas returned he tried to mow down the flames with the extinguisher, as the apartment continued to fill with smoke. As Mr. Ornelas could hear sirens approaching as emergency responders entered the area he ran to the street to direct deputies to the fire. Mr. Ornelas crawled into the apartment along with a deputy to assist the resident. Together they were able to drag the resident out of the apartment and into the street where she was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
Yew Lamoutte, was the fourth and final honoree.
On February 25, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. Mr. Lamoutte was in the Goleta Marketplace shopping center parking lot where he saw a man engaged in a physical altercation with the female Home Depot loss prevention officer who was attempting to recover a shopping cart full of stolen items. The suspect was seen violently throwing the officer around the parking lot while slamming the cart into her body. As Mr. Lamoutte ran towards the struggle with the intent of helping the officer, the suspect broke free and began to flee with the cart of stolen goods. Mr. Lamoutte chased, caught up to and confronted the suspect. The suspect then removed a stolen hatchet from the cart and threatened Mr. Lamoutte with it. Mr Lamoutte was not deterred and he proceeded to physically engage the suspect, disarm him and hold him until deputies arrived and took custody of him. A search of the suspect’s van revealed a large quantity of illegal drugs and a plethora of stolen items from a variety of stores. The suspect was booked for many charges including robbery and threatening Mr. Lamoutte with the hatchet. Mr. Lamoutte’s family attended the ceremony and received the award on his behalf.
The Sheriff’s Office issued thanks to the honorees for going above and beyond in helping their communities, as well as expressing appreciation to the Kiwanis Club of Santa Barbara for hosting the event.