Officer Sheldon Watts Jr. (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Benjamin Meyer (Image: Hawaii News Now)
By Kristy Tamashiro HNN Spring Intern
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -- Officers and good Samaritans who risked their own lives to save others were honored Wednesday.
Officer Sheldon V. Watts Jr. was awarded the Warrior Bronze Medal of Valor, the third-highest medal for valor available to Honolulu police officers.
In October, he saved a driver who was experiencing diabetic shock while driving on the H-1 Freeway.
Watts, who was off duty, spotted a vehicle swerving through traffic and noticed the driver appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel. He was able to use his own car to move the vehicle off the freeway into a construction area, where he then opened the car's door while it was still moving to put it in park.
Watts then got help for the ill driver.
"You never really expect this recognition because we do it everyday without asking for recognition so when it does come it feels amazing,” Watts said.
At the event at Ala Moana Beach Park, the Honolulu Police Department also awarded its highest civilian honor Wednesday -- the Civilian Medal of Valor -- to Gabriel Bonvini and Benjamin P. Meyer. The two are credited with helping the victims of a violent string of home break-ins in Kahala in December.
"I'm very humbled by the experience,” said Meyer. “It's nice to be commemorated for what you did so it's always a humbling experience."
Assistant Police Chief Clayton Kau said he's proud of the good Samaritans who stepped in to help fellow community members.
"Our public, our civilians, although we don't encourage them to get involved, we're very thankful that for them to get involved because we can't be everyplace all the time," he said.
In total, HPD gave out over 20 awards to officers, civilians and department employees.