Intern honored for bravery

DEL MAR — An intern in the city’s Finance Department was honored during the Oct. 17 City Council meeting for helping to divert an attack on a sheriff’s deputy aboard a North County Transit District bus last month.
Jason Julaton, who has worked for the city since 2010, was on a bus traveling through Encinitas on Sept. 14 when, according to witnesses, someone struck a passenger in the head with a belt buckle, causing the victim to bleed.
Deputy Michele Vars responded to the call, which was dispatched about 8 p.m. After witnesses identified the suspect, Vars tried to handcuff him. He resisted and began punching and kicking her as he tried to escape.
At one point, the suspect tried to grab Vars’ holstered gun, Mayor Don Mosier said as he read a proclamation declaring Oct. 17 Jason Julaton Day
Julaton helped restrain the suspect, allowing Vars to access her Taser and gain control of the situation. The incident was recorded on surveillance video.
“I’m not the true hero here,” Julaton said in accepting the proclamation. “What I did was just one moment. The people that serve us as citizens — the lifeguards, firefighters, people in the service, police officers, Michele — they make a conscious effort to protect us every day. So to me, they’re the true heroes.”
“This is a boss’s worst nightmare, when one of their deputies gets involved in a fight and someone tries to take their gun,” said Capt. Sherri Sarro. “On behalf of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Department, to Jason, we just want to say, ‘Thank you,’ because had you not intervened this may have been a different situation and outcome.
“Deputy Vars was injured that night, suffering a concussion and bruises throughout her body,” Sarro said. “Had you not been there I’m not sure what would have happened as she struggled and fought with this guy. Thank you very much, Jason.”

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