This morning the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation honors five Chicago Police Officers who helped to save one of their own while taking yet another gun off the streets of Chicago.
On August 4th at 2:45 AM, Officer Justin Simik-Valadez and his partner gathered detailed information from a citizen concerning a man who had been involved in an earlier shooting that day including the vehicle of the man and description of the gun. Officer Simik-Valadez shared the information with officers over the radio and directed the Officers to where the car was now parked. They performed surveillance on the vehicle, waiting until the offender returned to his car. After the offender entered the vehicle, the police attempted to perform an investigatory stop on it; the vehicle took off but was caught in traffic. Suddenly, the offender jumped from the car and fled on foot. The offender ran down the street and cut into a yard with the police on his heels. The yard was surrounded by a wrought iron fence with pointed stakes atop it but that didn’t stop the police. Officers Patrick Casey and Taylor Golden moved a bookcase next to the fence and Officer Casey scaled the fence, landing atop a garbage can while supporting himself on the roof of a garage. Suddenly the garbage can slipped out from under Officer Casey and he found himself impaled on a metal spear of the fence. Officer Casey pulled his arm off of the fence and the blood started to flow. Officer Casey was now trapped in the yard, losing blood. Officer Taylor called for an ambulance and asked for a tourniquet to stop the flow of blood. Meanwhile, responding Officers captured the offender nearby on Chicago Ave.
After receiving a tourniquet, Officer Golden reached through the fence and fastened the tourniquet on his arm. Officer Justin Simik-Valadez, responded and started packing the gaping wound with clotting gauze. Officer Joshua Plum applied direct pressure to stop the massive loss of blood. Other Officers directed Casey to the front of the yard and multiple units responded, including Gang Officers Herman Otero and Anthony Pavon. Officer Otero served seven years in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and took immediate action, delivering pressure to the brachial artery in an attempt to stop the loss of blood. Sgt Todd Reyejak (RAKE-Lynn) determined that they couldn’t wait for the ambulance, and directed gang crimes officers to take Casey to Stroger Hospital. They laid Casey in the back seat of the squad and Officer Otero and Officer Plum continued to apply pressure on the wound while Officer Pavon drove the squad to the hospital. Officer Casey was turning ashen when they arrived at the hospital. He was treated by the ER staff, given blood, and eventually went into surgery. The doctors said that without the team effort of all the officers who helped that night, Officer Casey might easily have bled to death.
We are proud to salute these officers and commend them for their heroic efforts that saved a police officer who was going after the bad guy, working to take another gun off the street while most of us are asleep comfortably in our beds.
These officers respond to dangerous situations, and while most people turn and run away, they go after the criminals knowing that every illegal gun removed, helps make the streets a little safer.
This morning we honor Officers Patrick Casey, Taylor Golden, Justin Simik-Valadez, Joshua Plum and Herman Otero. Without this group effort, we may have lost an Officer that night and be adding another name alongside the 582 others inscribed at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park. It is our honor to make them our October Officers of the Month, presented by Galls.