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Local deputy stabbed on El Paseo to receive Rick Espinoza Distinguished Service Award

A local Sheriff's deputy will be honored for his dedication to service, going above and beyond in the line of duty.

Deputy Marcel Stuhrmann is this year's recipient of the Rick Espinoza Distinguished Service Award.

On March 30, 2021, Dep. Stuhrmann was severely wounded in the line of duty when he was stabbed in the leg by a robbery suspect in the El Paseo area of Palm Desert.

"He fought off an assailant who actually was picking up and throwing people on the ground. He got stabbed and even with his partner Brown, helping him, he kept trying to control this person, even after being stabbed... and he was in grave danger of losing a lot of blood," said Jaishri Mehta, owner of El Paseo Jewelers, who have sponsored the award for all 13 years.

The suspect, a 50-year-old from La Quinta, was arrested and booked on multiple felony charges.

Stuhrmann will receive the award in a special presentation hosted by News Channel 3's Peter Daut this weekend.

The award is named after Sergeant Rick Espinoza, who was shot while pursuing a drug dealer in Desert Hot Springs in 2008.

Espinoza was one of the police officers that responded to a robbery that occurred at El Paseo Jewelers in 2006.

"Sergeant Espinoza always checked in on us, even after he was reassigned," remembers owner Raju Mehta. "He was family."

The news of Espinoza being shot came as a shock to El Paseo Jewelers and his willingness to return to service floored them.

"Seeing this kind of dedication, El Paseo Jewelers started the award in Sergeant Espinoza's honor in order to recognize the exemplary work that he and the Palm Desert/Riverside County Sheriff's Department does for the Coachella Valley and the community," reads a notice by El Paseo Jewelers staff.

Check Out Our Coverage of Previous Award Recipients:

Jesus Reyes

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