They were four Perris residents who saw people in need and instantly stepped in to help.
Two were pizza delivery drivers, a third was an off-duty U.S. Marine who rendered assistance to a gravely injured pedestrian lying in the street. The fourth was a Perris teen-ager who drove off two large dogs as they attacked a woman retrieving her mail.
The Perris City Council on April 28 presented Proclamations to Sierra Fryer, Grailin Fletcher, Marine Cpl. Alexander Decker and Perris High School sophomore Adrian Garcia for their “selfless actions (that) set an example of courage, compassion, and decisiveness that all citizens should emulate.”
Mayor Daryl Busch and Mayor Pro-Tem Tonya Burke called Garcia and Fryer to the front of the audience at the start of the City Council meeting and presented them with City proclamations. Decker and Fletcher were unavailable.
The four also received a proclamation from State Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, and a certificate of commendation from Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff.
“It’s nice to be able to acknowledge our residents who are really unsung heroes of our community,” said Perris Mayor Daryl Busch. “They contribute to the quality-of-life in Perris and it’s a pleasure to recognize that contribution.”
Mayor Pro-Tem Burke said the actions of those honored inspire other residents to become better citizens.
“I truly appreciate them stepping out on a limb to help others,” she said. “They were in the right place at the right time and they made the right decision.”
Fryer said she was delivering pizza at 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 when she witnessed a pickup truck strike the pedestrian near Perris Boulevard and Nuevo Road. Fryer, who is an emergency-medical-technician in training, immediately stopped her vehicle, ran to the victim and turned him on his back, where she discovered he was bleeding from massive head injuries. She began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and later administered chest compressions until other help arrived.
Fryer learned later that the victim died soon afterwards.
She said she remains haunted by the experience and does not consider her actions that night as anything heroic.
“I did who I hope any other citizen would do if I was in that situation,” Fryer said. “I did what I felt was the right thing. I wish I could have saved his life.”
She called the City recognition an “astounding, humbling experience.”
“It’s great to be honored for something I did that was not heroic but what I thought was right,” Fryer said.
Johnson said she was walking across the street from her home east of Perris Boulevaard on Aug. 1 when a boxer and a German shepherd “came out of nowhere” and started biting her heels.
“I knew I was in big trouble,” she said. “
Johnson said she blacked out. When she regained consciousness, she saw Adrian standing over her “like a guardian angel.”
“Without his help, I would have been killed,” she said.
Johnson was released from the hospital after suffering nine bites on her ankles. She later tracked down Adrian and thanked him for his heroism.
Adrian said he saw the attack and drove away the dogs by kicking them several times. He didn’t think about himself as he came to rescue.
“It happened really quick,” he said.
As for his awards from the City and elsewhere, the reticent teen-ager summed them up in three short words: “It was cool.”