SLIDESHOW: Det. Eric Bradley honored with Lodi Silver Star
LODI, CA - Lodi Police Det. Eric Bradley, whose quick thinking likely saved the life of a San Joaquin County judge during a brutal courtroom attack last year, was honored by the city Wednesday.
In front of a packed emotional crowd at the Lodi City Council meeting Wednesday night, Bradley was awarded the Silver Star for bravery for swinging into action on March 4, 2009, saving Judge Cinda Fox when the San Joaquin County judge thought she may be facing certain death.
"One moment, I was presiding over a murder trial and the next moment, I was feeling a knife cutting my throat," Fox told the crowd at Wednesday's ceremony.
On that March 2009 day, murder defendant David Paradiso had been testifying when his mother became upset and left the courtroom. Fox called a recess, and as jurors filed out, Paradiso slipped behind the bench, pulled out a jailhouse knife, lifted the judge and began punching and stabbing her as bailiffs -- and Detective Bradley -- ran to Fox's aid.
In a matter of just five seconds, "Detective Bradley drew his duty weapon...quickly closed the distance and fired."
Bradley, the main detective in the case against Paradiso, was able to reach through the melee and fire a single shot in Paradiso's chest, killing the attacker.
"Eric, you certainly were a hero on that day and we are so grateful that you were there to provide service and protect judge Fox," Lodi police Capt. Gary Benincasa said.
"When that moment came, you were there and because of that, I am alive today," Fox said.