SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego Police officer is showing his gratitude this holiday season after an incredible display of heroism.
It was at the end of his graveyard shift when he heard panic over the scanner.
"It's moving pretty quick, ooohh standby. It went over the… it went over the cliff. I was not in pursuit. Send medics!" a San Diego Police Lieutenant said over the police scanner.
San Diego Police K9 handler, Jonathan Wiese, noticed that this incident was just around the corner to where he was.
On the morning of June 13, 2020, a suicidal man had driven through a guard rail at Sunset Cliffs. His truck plunged into the ocean. Inside were his twin 2-year-old daughters.
"We didn't even come up with a plan. I just pretty much said 'I'm going,'" Wiese remembered.
He rappelled down a 30-foot drop, MacGyvering a rescue rope with his 100-foot dog leash. He says adrenaline, police training, but mostly his father-instinct kicked in.
"I had a two-year-old daughter at home, so when I'm looking in the water, it's her who is floating in the water," Wiese said. "So now it's just, 'OK, you're getting down this cliff!'"
The husband and father of two swam to the crash site and hoisted the girls to safety. His brave actions have since been recognized many times. He says it is a day he will always remember.
"I am most grateful this year, knowing that those two little girls have a second chance at life," Wiese said.
Another unforgettable day for Wiese is April 27, 2019. He was on his way to get lunch with his family when he heard an active shooter call on the scanner. Moments later, he spotted the suspect. Without backup, he convinced the Poway Synagogue shooter to surrender. Officer Wiese took him into custody.
Wiese says his competitive spirit motivates him to be a better version of himself every day, to show resilience and strength for his community.
"If you feel like you're going to win, then incidents like this, like at Sunset Cliffs, 'I'm going to win this incident. I'm going to save these girls in this man.' At the synagogue, 'I'm going to win. I'm going to go home to my family, and he is going to go to jail. and the community is going to be safe.'" Wiese said.