FFFF just received a comment from a Friend unhappy at the notion that the FPD falsely awarded the heroism of one of its own, when the true heroes were a couple of civilians.
Here’s the comment:
#4 by Anonymous on July 27, 2012
Who gave the (2) policemen Medals of Honor ????
Read the following from a Fullerton resident.
“As a lifelong resident of Fullerton, I continue to be astounded at the Fullerton Police Department’s utter lack of ability to tell the truth about anything.
Recently, Corporal Mike Bova received the department’s Lifesaving Medal for supposedly rescuing a woman passenger from a burning car (see Fullerton Observer story below). That would be great if he had actually saved anyone from a burning car. The fact is, (2) citizens Dominic and Ruben Carnesi saved that woman from the burning car. Officer Bova did not show up to the scene until well after both the elderly driver and passenger of the car had been rescued.
The mother of the (2) heroes was outraged and contacted the Fullerton Observer to let them know the actual story. The Observer subsequently printed the actual version of the story (also attached below). While the Fullerton Police Department will now be honoring the (2) heroes, I notice in the updated Fullerton Observer story that there is no mention of taking back the medal that Officer Bova disingenuously accepted. I am left to shake my head and wonder how in the world a man with any honor stands and accepts a medal that he knows he did not earn. Does Officer Bova have no integrity? Is there anyone in the Fullerton Police Department worthy of the trust and respect traditionally bestowed upon police officers? Sadly, it appears that the answer is no.”
From the Mid-June 2012 Fullerton Observer – Page 8 (http://www.fullertonobserver.com/artman/uploads/fomidjune.pdf)
Four Exceptional Police Officers Honored
On the evening of February 5, 2012,
Corporal Mike Bova was dispatched to a
call of a traffic collision in the area of State
College and Bastanchury Road. While
enroute to the call, he was advised that a
passenger in one of the involved vehicles
was possibly trapped in the windshield of
the car. Upon his arrival, he discovered
that due to her extensive injuries which
included a broken hip, leg and arm a
female passenger was still trapped inside
one of the cars and the engine compartment
was engulfed in flames. Without
regard to his own safety, Mike, along with
his brother Patrick, who was on a ridealong,
and two other unknown civilians,
managed to remove the victim from the
wreckage of the vehicle and move her to a
safe location. According to Fire personnel
on scene that night, Corporal Bova’s quick
actions resulted in the passenger’s life
being saved. For his actions, Corporal
Mike Bova is being awarded the
Department’s Lifesaving Medal.
From the Mid-June 2012 Fullerton Observer – Page 3 (http://www.fullertonobserver.com/artman/uploads/fojuly_001.pdf)
HEROES: Carnesi Brothers
Save Couple from Burning Car
The Mid-June Observer (page 8) carried
a story about Officer Mike Bova
and his brother Patrick who were honored
for saving the life of a woman
caught in the wreckage of a vehicle
involved in an accident. Two
“unknown civilians” were also credited
for helping to remove the woman from
the vehicle, which was engulfed in
flames, and moving her to a safe
place. The proud mother of those two
individuals contacted the paper and
offered the photos above of her sons,
the other set of brothers who were the
unidentified heroes in the story.
“It was Super Bowl Night and my
husband and two sons, Ruben and
Dominic, witnessed an accident at St.
College Blvd. and Bastanchury. They
were the first ones at the scene. They
got the woman, who was trapped in
the car, free and safe of the burning car.
When they got home they had red eyes
and soot all over them.”
Dominic described the scene. “The
accident happened right in front of us.
The engine compartment of the car
was on fire and smoke was filling the
car. My brother and I could see immediate
action was necessary. We first
helped the elderly man driving the car
to a safe place. He was in shock but he
The woman, however, was trapped
by the dashboard and the passenger
side door would not open. My brother
Ruben tore out the dashboard freeing
the woman, who was already disabled
with a broken leg, so that we could pull
her out of the driver’s side of the vehicle.
My brother told her, “this is going to
hurt.” She said, “I don’t care please get
me out.” The car was filling with
smoke. We got her out and were
helped by other bystanders to carry her
to a safe location away from the burning
vehicle. Meanwhile, other
bystanders were trying to put the
engine fire out. It was a group effort,”
Then the police arrived with fire
dept. paramedics following. The officers
asked us what happened. We told
them and pointed out that the driver
and two passengers of the vehicle that
had hit the couple’s car had taken off
running. Police later caught two men
and a woman at the Summit and
arrested them after we identified them.”
Okay. It sure looks like somebody is not telling the truth. The FPD storys claims that Corporal Mike Bova pulled the woman out. The brothers’ tales makes no mention of cops showing up until after the rescue was effected by them.
The council should demand an inquiry into this, pronto, so as to clear the good name of Mike Bova and the FPD!