Public Safety

Community and Public Safety Officials Honor Local Heroes

Don’t call these two victims – call them heroes. Both stood up and helped law enforcement make things right.

Sandy Gonzalez, a teenage girl who fought off her attacker then faced him down in court and Dennis Baros, a Poway businessman who used technology to lead sheriff’s investigators to his stolen computer were among seven honorees called Local Heroes at a luncheon by the Rotary Club of San Diego today in Mission Valley.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore as well as other local police chiefs presented the awards to the seven unassuming citizens who found themselves in the middle of a criminal situation and decided to help. The Rotary Club works with law enforcement every year to recognizes heroic residents who make San Diego a safer community.

Gonzalez of Spring Valley was just 17 years old when she stepped off a bus last year and was groped and stabbed by an attacker. She fought him off with the help of a good Samaritan, then ran to safety and flagged down a police officer. Later, she testified against the man in court to help keep him off the streets.

Baros, a Poway business owner, had his computer stolen but he was able to use his engineering skills to observe the thieves remotely through a computer program installed in the computer. This information enabled investigators to track down the thieves and arrest them. Ultimately, the thieves were tied to a string of thefts.

Also honored are:

 • Dave Lembcke, who risked his life to help an El Cajon Police officer drag a wounded officer to safety during a shootout with a man who killed his daughter and mother-in-law.

 • Family members David Bayliss, Rebecca Baylis and Naomi Himmelberger who came to the assistance of fatally wounded San Diego Police Officer Jeremy Henwood.

 • Scott Baird, a photojournalist from San Diego 6 who called police when he spotted a vehicle that was part of a crime in progress and led to the capture of the suspect.

Yvette Urrea Moe is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact