Editor’s Note: Officers Montoya and Hayden were recognized at the October general membership meeting for their adept response to a sexual assault call. However, the nomination for Patrol Officers of the Month was not submitted until after the meeting. The Union officially recognizes them as the second pair of officers to be recognized as this month’s Patrol Officers of the Month.
Officers Amparo Montoya and Daniel Hayden are the second pair of officers working together as an effective team to be honored in the November meeting as Patrol Officers of the Month.
The honor recognizes the duo’s work when they were dispatched to a sexual assault case on March 27, assigned out of Northeast Patrol.
Here is the account of what happened:
The complainant stated she had been living with her mother and step-father for the past 10 years, since she was eight years old. During this time, the complainant stated she had been continuously assaulted sexually by her step-father throughout this decade. The first assault occurred when she was eight after her mother left for work.
The young complainant’s step-father worked construction and rainy days were the worse. When it rained, the suspect repeatedly assaulted her. These assaults occurred sometimes two and three times a day. The suspect sexually assaulted her both vaginally and anally during this time.
As the case is with sexual assault victims, she was scared to tell her mother. The residence where the complainant lived was not fit for an animal to live there, much less a human being. There were snakes that came from outside, rats, roaches and other pest infestations throughout the house. The complainant did not even have dry towels to dry herself off after taking showers. She had to use her own dirty clothing.
However, while scared to tell her mother, she performed an outcry to her ninth grade teacher, Ms. Bonner. The complainant stated she did not feel normal anymore and she felt disgusted with herself for what was happening. Also, she experienced mental health issues.
The complainant had called from a park across the street from her residence when the officers arrived. The officers waited for the suspect to arrive back home and arrested him. The officers took the complainant to get something to eat during this time.
Officer Montoya interviewed the mother, who expressed zero emotion when told what had transpired with her daughter. This led the officers to believe the mother may have been aware of the assaults but did nothing to stop them.
The suspect was charged with a First Degree Felony and is currently in ICE detention, hopefully never being released.
Ms. Bonner developed a relationship with the complainant, so much so, that she was with the complainant at dinner when the complainant made the outcry. Ms. Bonner has been with the complainant every step of the way. She has paid for college applications and helped the complainant submit them to the colleges.
With Ms. Bonner’s help, the complainant was accepted to the University of Arizona. Ms. Bonner paid for the complainant’s airfare and purchased a whole new wardrobe for her to start the new chapter in her life at college.
Due to the complainant missing so many days from school, Ms. Bonner encouraged her to take a specialized test and helped the complainant prepare for the test. Ms. Bonner exemplifies the decency of human beings, as well as demonstrating what a hero truly is.
While most would state this was a job well done, both officers remained in contact with Ms. Bonner to assess and find out how the victim was doing after the horrific circumstances.
When the officers discovered she was entering college at the University of Arizona and needing a laptop to start and complete her studies, these officers decided to combine their own personal resources and purchase a laptop computer for her at a Best Buy. They did this while off-duty.
Through the generosity of the Houston Police Officers Union’s leadership, they agreed to reimburse these officers. However, these officers decided to purchase this laptop without ever knowing they would be, in fact, reimbursed.
Officer Hayden selected the laptop and had Best Buy ship it to this young college student in Arizona. Hayden started sharing this young woman’s story with others in order to find help in covering her tuition.
Hayden and Montoya discussed purchasing gift cards for the young lady to help assist with food and school supplies.
“I cannot find the words to express how truly amazing it is to have these two officers working in the Houston Police Department,” Commander James Dale said.
“Their care and compassion did not stop after the case. Their empathy and generosity continued, and still continues, as they check on the well-being of this survivor. These are typical attributes and traits of how talented our department’s personnel are here.
“The empathy for this survivor from the officers and Ms. Bonner demonstrates huge hearts and is a pure example of the core tenets of relational policing, as the very definition of the term.
“I am so proud to work with these individuals and the City of Houston is made that much better having all three of these people working here for the greater good of all the citizens.”