East Texas sheriff's deputy awarded Medal of Valor

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Deputy took the spotlight tonight after following his instincts and stopping a sexual assault in progress Sunday morning.

The Nacogdoches County sheriff is a proud man tonight, one of his deputies received the Medal of Valor at the office's annual cChristmasparty.

Sheriff Thomas Kerss described the award, "The second highest award available to the sheriff's employees... This will be the first time this high of an award will be given to one of our employees."

In front of family, fellow deputies and friends, Earl Garner was recognized for his commitment and bravery as a Nacogdoches County sheriff's deputy.

"His outstanding performance in law enforcement work and helping to rescue our recent victim of kidnapping and sex assault," said Sheriff Kerss.

However, that wasn't the end of Garner's accomplishments: he also received a certificate for saving a life.

"We now know through interviews with her that our defendant in this case allegedly just told her he was about to take her life when Officer Garner pulled up," said Sheriff Kerss.

His work ethic and bravery counted in the most significant way it can.

"Well it's the most important arrest I've ever made in my life I believe. Through the years I've made lots of narcotic arrests, but I guess its my first life and death arrest," said Corporal Earl Garner.

For Officer Earl Garner it's all just in a day's work.

"I'm kinda embarrassed to tell you the truth. I'm just doing my job. Nothing any of the other guys or ladies wouldn't have done," said Corporal Garner.

©2009 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.