Del Mar finance intern recognized for heroic act

By Claire Harlin

Jason Julaton has been an intern in the City of Del Mar Finance Department since 2010, but he was recognized on Oct. 17 by the City Council for being of service to the community in a different way — one that involved risking his own life.

Mayor Don Mosier proclaimed Oct. 17, 2011 as “Jason Julaton Day,” after Julaton intervened in a Sept. 14 violent assault against a bus passenger and a Sheriff’s official who responded to the call.

At about 8 p.m., officials dispatched report of a battery on a North County Transit bus in Encinitas and Sheriff’s Deputy Michele Vars responded to find the suspect, who had intentionally struck another passenger in the head with the buckle end of a belt, causing serious laceration, according to a report.

As Vars attempted to handcuff the suspect, he resisted and “violently punched and kicked Deputy Vars in an attempt to escape. At one point, the suspect attempted to grad Deputy Vars’ holstered gun,” according to the report.

Fearing for Vars’ safety, Julaton helped restrain the suspect enough to prevent and block some of the violent punches and kicks, allowing Vars to access her Taser and gain control of the suspect.

“This incident was recorded on surveillance video and it is clear that Mr. Julaton bravely put himself at risk for serious injury while assisting Deputy Vars,” read Mosier before the council. “While Deputy Vars was injured during the struggle, her injuries would have been undoubtedly worse if it wasn’t for the quick thinking, intervention and bravery of Jason Julaton.”

Julaton accepted hugs from a number of officers and community members.

“What I did was just one moment,” he said. “Our firefighters and police officers do this every day.”