Three citizens who helped police arrest a woman who was with a four-year-old inside before abandoning the child at the scene were recognized Tuesday by the Mid-Valley Community Police Council and LAPD Honor Awards at a ceremony at the .
Maria Suarez, Luis De la Cruz and Norberto Mora Jr. received awards, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News, for their actions on Sept. 28 in North Hollywood when 35-year-old Lisette Gonzalez Avakian flipped her car. She was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and child endangerment after crashing her car and running away, leaving her child at the scene while her two other very young children were home alone, police said.
Lisette Gonzalez Avakian was discovered hiding behind some bushes near the scene of the crash after Suzrez, De la Cruz and Mora Jr. chased her and pointed her out to officers, according to police.
"People should have civic pride," said Mora, 30, of North Hollywood, according to the Daily News. "You see someone doing something bad, get in there and protect your fellow human beings."
The crash occurred in the 5900 block of Whitnall Highway around 2 a.m., said Richard French, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.
During the ensuing field investigation, officers found a number of possible addresses for Avakian as they inspected her vehicle, according to police. At one location, officers discovered a year-old infant and a 3 month-old baby, said Officer A. Pedemonte of the LAPD's North Hollywood Station. All three children were taken into protective custody and placed with the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services, police said. They were later turned over to their father.
Even though Avakian's car overturned, there were no serious injuries in the crash, according to police.
She remains jail and remained behind bars this morning in lieu of $350,000 bail. according to information on the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 2.
The City News Service contributed to this report.