Sheriff Ric Bradshaw Awards Good Samaritans, Law Enforcement Honored at Annual Ceremony at Convention Center

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw honored community members and sheriff's office members at an annual awards ceremony this morning at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

West Palm Beach, FL, November 09, 2011 --( Members of the community were honored with Samaritan Awards for "outstanding act, achievement, or exceptional service," said sheriff's office spokeswoman Teri Barbera.

Jason Simpson and Sophia Nelson were given the Samaritan Award for saving a girl attacked by two pit bulls. Emily Ace, 14, was walking to her bus stop when one of the dogs bit her lower body and the other bit the side of her neck. Nelson ran to get Simpson and the two fought off the dogs with sticks and buckets. They pulled Ace away from the dogs and called 911.

Robert Moore was also given the Samaritan Award for saving the life of a sheriff's deputy. Moore saw a sheriff's deputy driving through his development. The deputy stopped in a cul-de-sac and Moore approached the car. He found the deputy unresponsive.

"If not for the quick response and notification from Mr. Moore, the deputy could have lost his life," Barbera said in a release.

Members of the sheriff's office were given the Unit Commendation, the Legion of Merit, Life Saving, Meritorious Combat Medal, Combat Action Medal, and Combat Cross Combat Star.

Also awarded were Law Enforcement Deputy of the Year, Corrections Deputy of the Year, Detective of the Year and Non-Sworn Employee of the Year for "going above and beyond the performance of duty reasonably expected of an employee," Barbera said.

For Emily Ace, the story began just over a year ago. Only 14 years old at the time, Emily was attacked one morning by two pit bull dogs.

"When I was laying down, I saw cars pass me by, but nobody came to my rescue," said Emily.

No one stopped to offer help, until two neighbors put aside concerns for their own well-being, to come to the aid of a relative stranger.

"My neighbor Jason, he ran in and got some sticks. I went back in and got a bucket, and we started to fight the pit bulls," said Sophia Nelson, one of the two people responsible for Emily's salvation.

"And we were able to get emergency help for Emily Ace. It was just a gruesome day, and very sad," said Jason Simpson, the other half of the heroic duo.

Without the help of good Samaritans, it could have been much worse. Friday, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, recognized that valor within their own ranks, and in the residents they protect.

"This is just a slice of a few people that did outstanding things. It's a good thing to say thank you...but it's also, we want the community to recognize how good a job this agency does," said Sheriff Ric Bradshaw.

Whether awarded for facing down danger, stopping crime, or saving lives, the outstanding men and women of the Sheriff's Office were offered the thanks they truly deserve.

"It's a great honor, above and beyond. You do your daily work all the time, and it's really good to be recognized by the bosses," said PBSO Sergeant Johnny Hyde.

However, it's not just those wearing uniforms who are occasionally called on to be heroes.

"I needed help, that's what I needed. I was glad that Jason and Miss Sophia could come to my rescue because I was really scared," said Emily.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Anthony Rodriguez
(561) 688-3000