By Rita Cook / Staff Writer
FERRIS – Under the Ferris Police Department Police Manual, Department awards and medals including Life Saving Awards, are awarded to an officer who has been instrumental in saving the life of another person.
In the case of the Ferris Police Department, this award was given to Officer John DeLeon Monday night for the life-saving actions he took while off-duty on Saturday, June 16.
It was around 10:30 p.m. when Officer DeLeon was home and was awakened by a neighbor. The neighbor who appeared to be in distress frantically knocked on DeLeon’s front door alerting him to a critical incident.
The neighbor told the off-duty officer there was a man being actively attacked by three dogs. Officer DeLeon looked out his front door and observed a person lying in a ditch just a few houses down. He then put on his shoes and grabbed his service weapon and flashlight.
When he made his way to the victim he immediately recognized the man as a local neighbor, Ron Bell.
DeLeon also observed several vicious dogs already back inside the owner’s residence and another man, later identified as the owner of the dog’s son, carrying a pistol.
DeLeon identified himself as a police officer and ordered the dog owner’s son to put the firearm away. As the owner’s son went back inside the residence, DeLeon tended to Bell who had a large portion of his right bicep missing and large bite wounds from his feet up.
“He was bleeding profusely,” the Life Saving Award incident was explained during the presentation. “Officer DeLeon was able to use a makeshift tourniquet out of a leather belt provided by a witness in order to stop the bleeding and to keep Ron from going into shock.”
Dallas Fire Rescue arrived on the scene and transported Bell to the Baylor Hospital Emergency Room for trauma care.
Bell eventually lost his right arm due to the extent of his injuries. He was also told by the attending physician that there was a good possibility of him bleeding out if a tourniquet had not been applied by DeLeon.
At the Ferris City Council meeting, Officer DeLeon was awarded the Life Saving Award with it being noted “your actions this day are indicative of your willingness to serve and protect. You answered the call even while off-duty. It is with great pleasure that I present you with the Ferris Police Department Life Saving Award.”
Bell was back in the hospital this week with further complications.