When Abington police Officer Gary Martinez arrived to a call for a suicidal man one evening last September, he found a distraught man in the middle of the street.
He tried talking to the man to calm him down, and while it wasn't enough to completely subdue him, it was enough to stall the man until backup arrived. That was Sgt. Oswaldo Toledo.
Within moment's of Toledo's arrival, the man allegedly pulled a .38-caliber revolver and "a life-and-death struggle ensued." Toledo fought with the suspect and was able to discharge the gun's five bullets harmlessly into the ground.
With no more rounds to shoot, the man was subdued by the two cops.
For their valor under fear of death, Martinez and Toledo were honored Tuesday at the 36th annual Citizens Crime Commission luncheon in Philadelphia. They were two of 26 officers from South Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania who received awards, including four officers shot in the line of duty in 2016. Those officers are Philadelphia Sgt. Sylvia Young and Officer Jesse Hartnett, Atlantic City Officer Joshlee Vadell and Folcroft Officer Christopher Dorman.
Two civilians, both residents of Philadelphia, were also honored for bravery in separate incidents that involved chasing down alleged robbery suspects and holding them until police arrived.
The commission, which runs a tips hotline and gives out rewards for information that leads to convictions, held the awards luncheon at The Bellevue Philadelphia on South Broad Street in Center City.