News Releases

February 7, 2018: Five Honored by District Attorney Jackie Lacey for Courageous Acts

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

District Attorney Jackie Lacey today recognized four men and one woman who witnessed violent crimes and then assisted prosecutors in taking the perpetrators off the streets.

“Every time someone steps in to help another in distress, our community grows stronger,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Our county is a safer place now that these heroes have helped in the prosecution of three violent criminals.”

The honorees were a man who ran after an assailant who tried to mug a woman; a neighbor and two firefighters who witnessed a domestic violence attack and decided to intervene; and a man who helped rescue an abused dog.

District Attorney Lacey recognized the five honorees this afternoon at a Courageous Citizen Awards ceremony hosted by the Rotary Club of Westchester.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office presents these awards several times a year to people who have performed extraordinary acts of valor and selflessness in assisting in criminal prosecutions, aiding victims, preventing crimes or even capturing suspects.

Awards were presented to:

Steve Oseas, 52, of Los Angeles. (Case no. SA094684, presented by Deputy District Attorney Maria Ghobadi)

On Dec. 21, 2016, Steve Oseas, a manager at a wood yard in West Los Angeles, was watching a live-feed surveillance video when he noticed a man attacking a woman in the alley outside of the business. Mr. Oseas leapt from his desk to help the victim. The suspect ran when he saw Mr. Oseas, who gave chase until he caught the man. Both men struggled and fell to the ground as the defendant punched and elbowed Mr. Oseas, who broke two ribs in the altercation. Despite his injuries, Mr. Oseas held down the suspect until police arrived.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department. The defendant pleaded no contest to assault likely to produce great bodily injury on June 28, 2017, and was sentenced to six years in state prison.

Mark Ayala, 22, of Whittier, Brent Glonchak, 40, of Buena Park and Heidi Manzanares, 48, of Corona. (Case no. VA142712, presented by Deputy District Attorney Amy Suehiro)

A man stalked his ex-girlfriend as she left a party in Whittier on Aug. 28, 2016. As the woman attempted to walk away, the man threw her to the ground and pulled out a box-cutter while on top of her. Los Angeles County firefighters Brent Glonchak and Heidi Manzanares were on an unrelated call nearby and saw what happened. Mr. Glonchak tackled the man. Neighbor Mark Ayala also ran to the woman’s aid. He put the suspect in a headlock. Mr. Ayala, Mr. Glonchak and Ms. Manzanares sat on the man and restrained him using bandages until police arrived.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The defendant was found guilty of injuring a girlfriend and assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced on March 3, 2017, to three years in state prison.

Krisanto Paragas, 30, of Los Angeles. (Case no. BA453715, presented by Deputy District Attorney Alexandra Campbell)

On Sept. 28, 2016, a man drove to a cul-de-sac in East Los Angeles, took his dog, Mary Jane, out of his vehicle and threw her down a ravine. A neighbor saw what happened and alerted his son-in-law, Krisanto Paragas, who went outside to try to locate the dog. Mr. Paragas found the dog about 20 feet down the ravine, shaking, scared and untrusting, and rescued her. The suspect returned to the scene and demanded his dog. Mr. Paragas refused and warned the suspect that police had been called. The man drove away, and Mr. Paragas took the dog to his house. He also reviewed his home surveillance video and gave it to authorities, resulting in the defendant’s arrest.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control. The man was convicted of one count of cruelty to an animal and sentenced on Sept. 6, 2017, to two years in state prison.