Hero Deputy Visits Ellen, Talks L.A. Arsonist
The hero L.A. Reserve Deputy who caught the man suspected in a string of terrifying arson fires opened up to Ellen about his headline-making traffic stop.
A beaming Shervin Lalezary told Ellen, "Honestly, I feel relieved. What the suspect was doing... he was terrorizing the community. During the course of the day, we talked to a lot of the citizens of West Hollywood who were really on edge. Any person that they saw around the carport was suspicious, calling 911 and calling us, [saying] 'Hey, it might be him.' I have a lot of friends and family in the area and they were definitely on heightened alert as well."
He continued, "And for my partners out there who were staying late every night, and the men and women of the fire department staying late every night, running into these homes -- basically to be sure that everyone was okay and saving lives... the fact that we can just go back to life as normal a little bit. It's just a big relief."
Ellen responded, "To the fire department -- to everybody -- we say thank you for every day, what you do, every single day. Thank you."
Later, Ellen remarked on the "amazing moment" that compelled Shervin to find the suspect. "You could have just turned down any other street," she said. "You happened to turn exactly on the right street and see the guy, and I know you don't like to take full credit for it, but you should take credit for it. You're a hero and we all think you're a hero and I want you to know that."
Then, to Shervin's surprise, L.A. Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa presented Shervin with a certificate of appreciation! "We couldn't be prouder for the bravery, the heroism of the Sheriff's Department, deputies who were involved, and the LAPD officers," Villaraigosa told him. "A couple of hundred investigators working this case, and Shervin -- thank you for the work that you did, and you did it for a dollar a year. So we really appreciate it."
As for that famed "dollar a year" salary Shervin makes as a Reserve Deputy?
"Budget cuts," Shervin said with a laugh.
Tune in to see the full interview -- and to see Shervin's proud brother and fellow deputies in the audience -- on Monday, January 9.