White House honors Brevard deputy for 2011 valor

Brevard County sheriff's Sgt. Michael D. Brown given Medal of Valor

Michael D. Brown.
Michael D. Brown.

The White House honored Brevard County sheriff's Sgt. Michael D. Brown on Wednesday for his quick-thinking and bravery nearly four years ago when he saved the life of a woman during an attempted murder by her estranged boyfriend.

Brown was one of several honorees who received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor in a ceremony led by Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder.

On Sept. 6, 2011, deputies were investigating a reported kidnapping when Brown came across the suspect's vehicle. The suspect drove more than 100 feet into the Indian River and began stabbing the woman in the passenger seat, officials said.

Brown entered the river and fired his weapon through the driver's side window at the suspect six times. None of the bullets struck the woman.

He approached the vehicle and found the male suspect cradling the woman, who had been stabbed more than 30 times, according to officials. Brown then carried her from the vehicle to the shore, where she was given the medical care she needed to survive.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, authorized by the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2001, is the highest national award for valor presented to a public safety officer.

The medal is awarded to officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in attempting to save or protect human life. Including Wednesday's honorees, a total of 95 medals have been presented since the first recipients were honored in 2003.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., commended Brown for his service.

"He and so many officers like him put their own lives and safety on the line every day," Nelson said.