Carnegie heroes Damien Castro, Christopher Bryant Aboyte, and Robert Michael Sherock pose with the Carnegie Medal at a Jan. 17, 2023, presentation at Los Angeles police headquarters. The three officers rescued pilot Mark Jenkins from being stuck by a train last January.
“These three awardees represent the very best of the best. And doing it on a day when they were just moving from one place to another — the calamity happened before them — and they didn’t look left or right, they just looked and moved forward,” said Michel Rey Moore, Los Angeles police chief.
Castro, Aboyte, and Sherock responded to a plane that crashed-landed on a railroad track in Pacoima, California. Aboyte was assigned to monitor the pilot while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive while Sherock and Castro directed traffic. Suddenly, a crossing gate descended and a five-car, 600-ton train traveling at least 72 m.p.h. approached the crossing. Castro ran to the cockpit and tried to pry open the cockpit door, but it wouldn’t budge. Sherlock arrived and helped Castro and Aboyte reach into the plane, hoist the pilot over the dashboard and through the broken-out windshield, and drag him to safety seconds before the train collided with the plane.
“We’d like to accept this honor on behalf of all the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department, and also all law enforcement officers across the nation that undertake acts of heroism — big and small — every day that don’t make the news or don’t get noticed,” Sherock said.