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October 6, 2017: Three Honored with Courageous Citizen Awards

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey today honored three people who played vital roles in the prosecution of violent crimes in the communities of Lakewood, Santa Monica and Vernon.

"Today’s honorees were dauntless in their pursuit of justice, even when it meant putting themselves in harm’s way," District Attorney Lacey said. "I commend their boldness, integrity and grit, and thank them for helping my office put these dangerous criminals behind bars.”

District Attorney Lacey recognized a teenager whose quick thinking led authorities to his brother’s killer; a construction worker who tracked an animal abuser until he was arrested by police; and a man who chased after and held down a mugger.

The District Attorney’s Office presents these awards four times a year to recognize ordinary people who have performed extraordinary acts of valor and selflessness in assisting in the prosecution of criminals, saving victims, preventing crimes or even capturing suspects.

Today’s luncheon ceremony was hosted by the LA5 Rotary Club of Los Angeles at the Staples Center’s Lexus Club.

The honorees were:

Timoteo Salomón Evora Vigil, 17, of South El Monte (Case no. TA138348)

On Sept. 19, 2015, a husband impersonating his wife on social media lured one of her male friends to their Lynwood home and fatally shot him. The man hid the body in the victim’s car and abandoned the vehicle in San Bernardino. The next day, a fire was set at the 34-year-old assailant’s house, allegedly to cover up the crime scene. When Timoteo Salomón Evora Vigil learned of his older brother’s violent death, he logged on to his brother’s social media account and found the messages from the assailant. Timoteo gave the information to police, helping to solve his brother’s murder and providing key prosecution evidence in the trial.

On March 29, a jury convicted the defendant of capital murder, arson and other crimes. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino Police Department.

Douglas Randazzo, 49, of Simi Valley (Case no. SA095842)

A woman was walking through a Santa Monica alleyway on June 12, when a stranger violently kicked her 10-pound dog, Teddy. When confronted, the 38-year-old man yelled obscenities and threatened to fight her. Douglas Randazzo was working at a construction site overlooking the alley. He directed others at the site to call police and stop the woman to get her information. Mr. Randazzo followed the man for several blocks, even getting onto a bus. He ordered the man to get off the bus and then continued to track him until police arrived and detained the man.

On June 28, the defendant pleaded no contest to cruelty to an animal. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

The case was investigated by the Santa Monica Police Department.

Francisco Soria Diaz, 48, of Rosemead (Case no. VA145448)

A 55-year-old woman was waiting at a Vernon bus stop in early August when a man suddenly approached and tried to steal her purse. The woman held on to her handbag as the assailant dragged her nearly 50 feet. When the woman did not surrender her purse, the mugger gave up and started to run away. Francisco Soria Diaz got out of his work truck when he witnessed the attempted robbery, chased the attacker and held him on the ground until police arrived.

Less than two weeks after the incident, the 19-year-old defendant pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree robbery and was sentenced to 16 months in prison.

The case was investigated by the Vernon Police Department.