In 2013, Officer Mario Gutierrez of the Miami-Dade Police Department foiled an attack that could have left many people seriously injured or even dead. Three years later, Gutierrez is being recognized for his bravery in a huge way. After receiving numerous awards for his moment of incredible bravery, Gutierrez is one of 13 police officers being awarded the Medal of Valor by President Obama in 2016.
This is Miami-Dade Police Officer Mario Gutierrez.
Credit: @MiamiDadePD / Twitter
Gutierrez, 57, has been on the police force for more than two decades. But, don’t let his age fool you. This viejito is a boss that deserves EVERYBODY’s respect.
On Oct. 29, 2013, Gutierrez was on his regular patrol when he stopped at a Shell gas station close to Miami International Airport.
This random stop on his route would proved to be one of the most fateful moments in the officer’s career.
While at the gas station, Gutierrez noticed a man trying to start a fire by dropping burning newspaper into the two 8,000-gallon tanks of gasoline below the gas station.
Gutierrez hit the emergency shut off button to prevent the gasoline from flowing through the tanks as a precaution before confronting the suspect.
Gutierrez tried to subdue the suspect with a taser, but the man became enraged and attacked Gutierrez.
The suspect, later identified as Dominique Jean, stabbed Gutierrez several times with a knife and screwdriver. The attacker even tried to bite Gutierrez’s thumb off. Gutierrez fought back, eventually having to resort to shooting and killing Jean to end the altercation.
Since the gas station attack, Gutierrez has received local and state awards for his bravery and quick thinking that potentially saved lives.
Credit: @FLSherrifs / Twitter
Officer Gutierrez just sees it as doing his job and credits his love for family for his fight and survival. “The determination to see my family, that was the most important thing. I did not want to die and never see them again,” Gutierrez told CBS Miami.
Gutierrez definitely has the scars to prove how much he loves to protect his community.
“I love what I do. I love being a policeman. I love serving the community. It’s a calling. It’s a passion,” Gutierrez said, according to NY Daily News.
And now, this badass abuelito has a new award to add to the collection: the Medal of Valor.
— Amy Viteri (@TVAmyViteri) May 16, 2016
Credit: @TVAmyViteri / Twitter
The Medal of Valor is the highest award that public servicemen and women can receive. Recipients are given the award once a year by the president.