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Officer honored for saving toddlers, man who plunged off Sunset Cliffs

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Aug 29, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-29 12:56:49-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The officer who saved two twin toddlers and their dad after their father drove off Sunset Cliffs was recognized for his heroic efforts this week.

San Diego Police K9 officer Jonathan Wiese was awarded the Medal of Valor and Heroic Act award from the California Surf Lifesaving Association and United States Lifesaving Association for his efforts to save the three people on June 13.

SDPD received a call about a suicidal man with twin two-year-old girls driving with the intention of careening off the Coronado Bridge. Police tracked the man's phone to Sunset Cliffs where an SDPD lieutenant watched him drive off the cliff at a high rate of speed just after 5 a.m.


Wiese used a 100-foot long dog tether to rappel down the cliff to the truck, which had landed upside down in the water on top of a rock. Wiese was able to get the man and the two girls from the car to the shore.

"I could see him and he had one of the girls in his arms, and I have a two-year-old daughter at home so I imagined, what if that was my wife and kid down there? You're not going to stand there on the cliff and watch it happen," he told ABC 10News in June. "And by then four or five other cops had shown up so I pretty much threw the end of the leash to them and then I said hang on and I just jumped off."

The officer also performed rescue breathing on one of the girls who was limp after being pulled from the wreck.

Wiese is the same officer who helped apprehend the suspected Poway synagogue shooter in April 2019. He was on his way to meet his family for lunch on Apr. 27 when he heard a call of shots fired and immediately responded to the area.

"I didn't do the job to be liked every day, I didn't do it to become rich, I did it because I want to be out there making a difference and helping people, as cliche as that might sound, but I was just glad I could be there," Wiese said referring to protecting the toddlers.