Miami-Dade police

Miami-Dade County cop wins national award for thwarting fire at gas station near airport

 
 
Last October, Mario Gutierrez, 55, approached a man trying to stuff newspapers he had set on fire into an underground gasoline valve at a Shell Gas Station on LeJeune Road. Gutierrez was stabbed several times before shooting and killing the man.
Last October, Mario Gutierrez, 55, approached a man trying to stuff newspapers he had set on fire into an underground gasoline valve at a Shell Gas Station on LeJeune Road. Gutierrez was stabbed several times before shooting and killing the man.
Roberto Koltun / El Nuevo Herald

crabin@MiamiHerald.com

Mario Gutierrez, the Miami-Dade police officer stabbed last year while stopping a man from setting fire to a gas station near Miami International Airport, has received a top national award for his bravery.

Gutierrez was in Washington, D.C., this week as the only Florida police officer to receive the TOP COPS award from the National Association of Police Officers. Others in law enforcement agencies from Texas to New York received the same award.

Last October, Gutierrez, 55, approached a man who was trying to stuff newspapers he had set on fire into an underground gasoline valve at a Shell gas station on Le Jeune Road. Gutierrez was stabbed several times before he shot and killed the man. The officer recovered from his wounds.

Dominique Jean had a box cutter, an eight-inch knife and a large screwdriver when Gutierrez killed him. Before approaching Jean, Gutierrez quickly determined he had to shut off the valve and deactivate the station’s gas pumps.

Gutierrez insisted he wasn’t a hero at the time.

“I did what any cop would have done. I saw a man committing a crime and I had to do my job and take him to jail,” the officer told told el Nuevo Herald.

Before Gutierrez’s return from Washington on Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a statement praising the 23-year veteran.

“Police officers often encounter situations that call for them to be willing to lay down their lives for people they have never met,” the mayor said. “But this is what heroes do.”

Read more Miami-Dade stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category