NEW PORT RICHEY — Deputies found the three boys shivering and scared on a boat among the waves after a storm yanked them out into the Gulf. The boys had dropped an anchor to keep from being pulled any farther.
But the anchor held the boat from bobbing with the waves, which crashed over the bow. They used buckets to bail out the water the best they could. None of them wore a life vest.
Pasco Cpl. Tim Brock and Dep. Ryan Shadrick commandeered another boat to make it out to the boys, ages 10 and 14. The deputies loaded the boys onto their own boat and brought them back to shore and into their panicked parents' arms.
For this, Brock and Shadrick were awarded last week with the Meritorious Service Medal for Courage at the Pasco Sheriff's Office's quarterly awards ceremony. Several other agency members and people from outside the agency also were honored.
Gina Dean, a victim advocate at the sheriff's office, was recognized after she helped increase the Victim Advocate Unit's role in intelligence-led policing and adding more helpful information to the booklet given to victims of crimes.
Sheriff Chris Nocco was honored for running a command staff that helped ease the transition between jobs for agency members in the military reserve service.
Spirit of Intelligence Led Policing
Dep. Richard Meaghar was recognized after his tact in an investigation helped nab a suspect in a string of burglaries stretching from Lutz to Wesley Chapel.
Sheriff's Special Service Award
Sheriff's Office Explorers Lt. William Watson and Cpl. Courtland Harrison were awarded for giving first aid to a pedestrian who had been struck by a car in August.
Ed Caum and Richard Solkin were honored for helping the driver of a car they'd seen roll off S.R. 54 into a retention pond in 2 feet of water. Caum also used a fire extinguisher on the car, which was smoking after the crash.
Sgt. Christopher Joyal and Dep. Curtis Adams were awarded after they forced entry into the home of a man whose neighbors hadn't heard from him in days. They found the man on his closet floor and took him to a local hospital.
Firefighter Joseph Russo was recognized for helping a deputy who was dealing with a combative driver alone after the driver refused to get out of his car when he was pulled over. Russo and the deputy were able to pull the man from the car and place him in handcuffs.
Sgt. Jennifer Morton, Cpl. Joseph Zoccoli, and deputies Mitch Bollenbacher, Alyson Towne and David Hatfield were awarded for noticing a couple's home was in deplorable condition while they were there on an unrelated call. After they reported the home, an inspector investigated and condemned the home.
Dep. Peter Robbins, Tampa Police Officer Jordan Russell and his mother Karen Russell were honored for saving a man's life after he had a heart attack. Russel was off duty with his mother and both performed chest compressions until Russel flagged down Robbins. Robbins did chest compressions until emergency crews arrived.
Deputies Joshua Peters and Clifford Baltzer were awarded after they forced entry into the home of a man who was about to hang himself. They caught the man just as his face was turning purple from the noose and turned him over to medical staff.
Dep. Ryan Oakley was honored after he got between two men who were fighting in a parking lot. One of the men punched him in the eye, which would later require five stitches. Oakley and other deputies were eventually able to subdue the man.