CITY OF RENO POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE – During the Reno City Council meeting on January 15, Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts recognized Charles Sperry with the Chief’s Medal of Commendation. Sperry’s widow accepted the award on behalf of her deceased husband. Sperry, 80, died on October 16, 2013, after being shot while trying to stop a man from robbing a Bank of America in Reno. The alleged bank robber, Van McDuffie, 66, shot Sperry in the chest.
Chief Pitts awarded the Medal of Valor to Officer German Rodriguez. Rodriquez was off duty and in the Bank of America on October 16 when the shooting occurred. Rodriguez followed McDuffie outside the bank and pursued the suspect to a mall bus stop where he removed his weapon as on-duty police officers arrived.
In addition, Chief Pitts honored Officer Anthony Della with the Life Saving Award for his efforts to save a stabbing victim’s life after responding to an altercation at the corner of Second and Lake Streets.
Chief Pitts also gave Life Saving Awards to two members of the Downtown Enforcement Team. Officers Brian Bocchese and Adam Blount came to the aid of a homeless man who was on fire.
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