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For Immediate Release: 4/24/2015

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Lake Oroville State Park Ranger Honored with Medal of Valor


Name: Dennis Weber

Phone: (916) 651-8724


Sacramento, CA. — State Park Peace Officer Evan Walter received the Silver Medal of Valor Thursday, April 23, 2015, for heroic actions to stop an act of gang violence.

Nancy McFadden, Executive Secretary to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., presented the awards in a ceremony at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento. The Medal of Valor is the highest honor given to state employees.

“These individuals put their lives on the line, acting selflessly to protect others.” McFadden said. “They are our modern day heroes.”

“California’s public servants are dedicated to their state,” said CalHR Director Richard Gillihan. “These acts of bravery are not surprising because these individuals have dedicated their careers to helping others. They represent the best in public service.”

On November 1, 2012, at approximately 5:40 p.m., State Park Peace Officer/Ranger Evan S. Walter was off duty at the Chico Mall when he saw a group of possible gang members assembling in front of the mall.  Ranger Walter was wary; there had been recent news from the Chico Police Gang Unit about an increase in gang activity and violence in Chico and surrounding areas.  Two young men started fighting and one repeatedly stabbed the other in the back and side-ribcage. Ranger Walter drew his off duty weapon and intervened, securing the knife, handcuffing the suspect, and holding him until the police arrived. The fifteen-year-old victim was transported by ambulance to the local hospital in serious condition. 

The investigation revealed that two rival local gangs got into a verbal altercation at the mall.  The gang member responsible for the stabbing was arrested for attempted murder, as well as committing a crime while participating in a criminal street gang. The victim survived the ordeal.

Ranger Walter has worked for California State Parks for 13 years and presently serves as the Supervising Ranger at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area.

A total of 52 present and former employees were honored in the ceremony from nominations provided to Cal HR. Since 1959, 523 employees have received the Medal of Valor.

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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.