WeHo Woman Receives ‘Courageous Citizen Award’ from D.A. Jackie Lacey


A woman who intervened in a stabbing attack, two people who assisted a bicyclist being attacked by a stick-wielding assailant and a woman who thwarted an abduction attempt were presented Wednesday with Courageous Citizen Awards by District Attorney Jackie Lacey.

The honors were presented during an awards ceremony hosted by the Rotary Club of Westchester.

Photo from today’s Courageous Citizen Award presentation: Left to right (top row): Deputy District Attorney Monique Preoteasa; Deputy District Attorney Melanie Drew; District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Deputy District Attorney Lucrecia Boado, Left to right (bottom row): Courageous Citizen Award recipients Selestino Penaloza, Brandy Mayes, Sabrina O’Hara and Maria Nunez

The awards are presented to people who perform “extraordinary acts of valor and selflessness in assisting in criminal prosecutions, aiding victims, preventing crimes or even capturing suspects.”

Sabrina O’Hara, 42, of West Hollywood, was honored for assisting a man who had been stabbed outside her home in November 2018. According to the District Attorney’s office, she yelled at the assailant and called 911 while assisting the man, and later testified at the attacker’s trial, leading to a conviction.

Maria Nunez, 27, of Los Angeles, and Selestino Penaloza, 38, of Huntington Park, were recognized for assisting a bicyclist who was knocked to the ground and was being threatened by a man holding a pair of long sticks. Penaloza followed the assailant and flagged down a pair of police officers, who arrested the man. Nunez assisted the victim until paramedics arrived, and both identified the assailant, who was later convicted.

Brandy Mayes, 50, of Riverside, was honored for intervening when she saw a man dragging a woman by the hair in Pasadena. Mayes parked the limousine she was driving, causing the assailant to release the 19-year-old woman and flee. She stayed with the victim, and the attacker was later arrested and pleaded no contest to kidnapping, according to the District Attorney’s Office.


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