Delbert R. Halyard died rescuing Michael J. Volkoff from assault, Downey, California, October 11, 1980. Volkoff, 27, attempted to fight off several men who were beating and kicking him in a parking lot. When Halyard, 37, machinist, pulled one of the assailants off Volkoff, the others began to fight him. They knocked him to the pavement, beating and kicking him. One of the attackers produced a handgun, with which he then shot Halyard twice at close range. Halyard died.
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An award for valor was given to a local hero by the Downey City Council on April 13, 1982, but the hero wasn’t there to accept it. Instead, his widow will pick up the plaque from the city and a bouquet of flowers from the company where Delbert Halyard worked before he was gunned down while trying to help a mugging victim.
The council presented the plaque to Halyard’s widow. Floridalma, as a posthumous award to her husband for sacrificing his life for a stranger. Several of Halyard’s former co-workers from Brown Boveri Electric Inc. in Downey presented Halyard’s widow with a bouquet of flowers.
Halyard was originally from Seattle and had purchased a home in Pico Rivera, Calif., for his family a year before he was killed. He was a caring father who liked to take his two sons camping or for a ride on his motorcycle.
Downey citizens and employees of Brown Boveri also raised $4,000 in a trust fund for Halyard’s wife and children.
(Edited from an article in the Southeast News and Champion, April 12, 1982)