Sheriff's Deputy honored

U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Tai Plunkett, and Rafi Nazarians, a field representative for Senator Barbara Boxer, at the La Crescenta Town Council meeting on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Plunkett, while off duty, stopped the stabbing of a woman in Burbank. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)

A Crescenta Valley sheriff's deputy received the Congressional Badge of Bravery on Thursday for his quick thinking, despite being unarmed, that saved a woman's life during a stabbing attack.

On Nov. 21, 2012, Deputy Tai Plunkett was refueling his car while off duty in Burbank when he observed a couple engaged in a verbal argument in a nearby parking lot.

In the presence of their two children, the man suddenly pulled out a large knife and started attacking the woman, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Plunkett decided there wasn't enough time to call the police and decided he had to intervene, even though he did not have his gun.

"If it were not for the intervention of Deputy Plunkett, she may have very well been deceased," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) before bestowing the honor to Plunkett during a Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting.

The badge program was created a few years ago to recognize law enforcement officials at the local level.

Plunkett, a deputy for 15 years, yelled out that he was with law enforcement, but the man continued to attack, according to the sheriff's department.

Plunkett managed to kick the man several times in his head, knocking him to the ground.

"You have to come to the determination of what you're going to do, if you're going to do it, do it. If not, be a good witness," Plunkett said. "But I felt confident. I wasn't going to let that woman and those children be harmed in my presence."

While trying to restrain the man, another Good Samaritan passing by stopped to help until police arrived and made the arrest, according to the sheriff's department.

The victim suffered 20 stab wounds, but ultimately recovered.

The man in the incident, Trino Godinez, was charged with attempted murder and is currently in pre-trial proceedings, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

After receiving the award, Plunkett said he was honored, but certain his actions wouldn't be unique to him.

"I know a lot of good people in this department and many of them would have done the same thing," he said. "I'm glad for the recognition, but it's something I would have done anyway."

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Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.

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