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LASD - Transit Services Bureau
Tuesday May 3rd, 2016 :: 10:08 a.m. PDT


#LASD Transit Deputies and Pasadena PD Officers save a life in Pasadena, California

LA Sheriff’s Transit Bureau North Deputies and Pasadena Police Officers saved the life of a man who was choking while eating dinner on Sunday, May 1st, 2016, at approximately 7:00 PM. Deputy Arnulfo Aguirre and his partner Deputy Vladimir Vasquez-Flores, were assigned to the Metro Gold Line. Deputies Aguirre and Vasquez-Flores were on their dinner break at the Stonefire Grill in Pasadena, California. Seated nearby were Pasadena PD Officers John Calderon and Tom Blanchard, also on their dinner break.

Deputy Aguirre noticed a male waving his hands in the air in obvious distress. Mr. Jonathan Staffeldt, who was dining with his family, was choking and unable to breathe. Aguirre ran towards Mr. Staffeldt and began to administer abdominal thrusts to dislodge any obstruction. After approximately ten thrusts, Pasadena Officer John Calderon took over and delivered a few more abdominal thrusts. Their efforts proved successful as the food obstruction was dislodged and Mr. Staffeldt was again able to breathe. 

Pasadena Fire Paramedics responded to the restaurant and treated Mr. Staffeldt. He appeared to be breathing fine on his own and declined any further treatment. Mr. Staffeldt commended the quick actions of both the deputies and police officers, stating that they had “saved his life” and commented that he believes the outcome of his ordeal would have been much different had the deputies and officers not been present.

The Transit Policing Division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is comprised of four separate bureaus. The Transit Bureau North is one of those bureaus responsible for providing police services to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), including their patrons, employees, vehicles, and properties. The Transit Bureau North has a close working relationship with the Pasadena Police Department as several Metro bus lines and the Metro Gold Line run through the City of Pasadena. Together these agencies work diligently to keep Metro patrons and the citizens of the City of Pasadena safe when they “Go Metro”.


Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local sheriff’s station or police department. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website

Please remember, if you SEE SOMETHING that you believe is suspicious or doesn’t look right to you, SAY SOMETHING by calling: (888) 950-SAFE (7233), or your local police department. You can also use the Transit Watch LA App, to report crime or advise of something/someone suspicious. The App can be downloaded at the Apple App Store, or on Google Play for Android Devices. (remember though, calling is always best!!)

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For media inquiries please contact:
Ramon Montenegro, L.E.T.
Transit Policing Division – Public Information Officer
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department 
(213) 922-3649
24 Hr. : (888) 950-SAFE (7233)
Transit Watch LA website:
LASD website:
Tracey Iberra, Lieutenant
Pasadena Police Department – Public Information Officer
(661) 373-7753
LASD - Transit Policing Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff 
One Gateway Plaza, Mail Stop: 99-PL-15
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Emergency: 9-1-1 
Non-Emergency: (888) 950-SAFE (7233)

Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department


LASD - Transit Services Bureau
LACMTA Rail Operations Control
Los Angeles, CA 90059

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 323-563-5000

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