Matador Patrol student honored for bravery, heroism

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Matador Patrol student honored for bravery, heroism

Negin Daneshfar

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A Matador Patrol student, who was injured while helping another student, was honored at the Department of Police Services Annual In-Service for heroic service on Wednesday.

Alberto Dejesus Muñoz, 23, senior urban studies and planning major, received the Chief’s Award, which is the highest award given by the department.

“I was surprised,” Muñoz said. “It feels great to have received an award in honor for saving someone else’s life. I know that not many people can say the same.”

Muñoz served the Matador Patrol for two and a half years performing his duties as a safety escort and providing services to the Matador community.

Javier and Guillermina Muñoz, Alberto Muñoz’s parents and his girlfriend, Yessenia Martinez, 27, senior civil engineering major, were invited to the ceremony as a surprise for Alberto Muñoz.

“The award was very amazing,” Javier Muñoz said. “We are all very proud of him. It was very exciting and emotional. Words couldn’t describe the feeling just to see everyone there, interested in him.”

Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police, presented the award to Alberto Muñoz in front of the CSUN PD. She said giving the Chief’s Award is a rare occurrence because of the criteria required and it goes beyond just heroic actions and common performances.

“It was very emotional when I presented this award to Albert,” Glavin said. “He is such a dependable student. You really feel towards that person and what they went through.”

Glavin eluded that Muñoz probably thought the night of the incident would just be business as usual.

“I’m sure Albert just thought that it’s another routine night and [he was] just doing [his] job as a safety escort,” Glavin said. “Little did he know that he was going to become a hero to the Matador community.”

Muñoz has recovered from two broken legs and other bodily injuries since the time of the incident, which occurred on April 25, 2013 around 10 p.m., while Muñoz and a CSUN student were walking on the corner of Darby and Prairie Streets.

While attempting to cross the street at a nearby crosswalk, the CSUN student was struck by the side of a car and its side view mirror as the car passed, which resulted in several injuries. But Muñoz received the brunt of the hit, leaving him unconscious and with two broken legs.

“I pushed the student out of the way on impulse when it happened,” Muñoz said. “I also remember somewhere on the police report [said] it was witnessed that the student was about to walk when the light was still red for us and I stopped her and told her to wait.”

CSUN police officers arrived to the scene at 10:24 p.m. Both Muñoz and the CSUN student were immediately rushed to the Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The student’s identity is being withheld.

The driver of the car was reported to have stopped. The accident remains under investigation with the LAPD Valley Traffic Division.

CSUN President Dianne Harrison and other administrators were present at the ceremony.

Guillermina Muñoz expressed pride in her son for his heroic actions.

“He’s just the perfect kid since he was little,” Guillermina Muñoz said. “He was very obedient and always willing to help.”