District Attorney Honors Courageous Citizens in Long Beach for Heroic Acts


District Attorney Jackie Lacey with honorees, prosecutors and a Rotary official. Photo by Stephanie Rivera. 

Three county residents were recognized by County District Attorney Jackie Lacey for their acts of heroism during the annual Courageous Citizen Awards at the Queen Mary Wednesday afternoon.

"Today we commend the acts of heroism demonstrated by these everyday people," District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. "They stood up for victims of crime and played pivotal roles in the prosecution of each case. I am proud to be in the presence of these very special people whose steadfast conviction helped attain justice."

The recipients included 28-year-old Los Angeles resident Joshua White, who rescued two women from a human trafficker when they approached him at a Century City mall parking lot on May 15, 2013.

According to prosecutors, the pimp verbally and physically abused one of the women, a 21-year-old, including raping her and even making her kneel on dry macaronis when she attempted to leave.

Another time, when she wanted to go home, he took her to a tattoo parlor and had his name and a dollar sign tattooed on her face, according to the prosecutor of the case.

On the day the pimp kidnapped the 21-year-old’s 18-year-old friend with hopes of pimping them out at another state, he locked them inside his vehicle while he went to buy them clothes.

It was then that they were able to escape and ask White to take them home. On his way to Long Beach, White learned the extent of their story and determined they needed to report the crimes to police.

His actions in taking the victims to the police station, and testifying against the pimp led to his conviction and sentencing of 47 years and four months to life in state prison.

The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

21-year-old Rosa Almanza of Gardena was honored for calling 911 and staying with the victim of a domestic violence incident she witnessed.

In July 2014, Almanza was riding in a car in Long Beach when she saw a 63-year-old blind man hit several times in the head by a metal cane by his girlfriend who had a history of hitting past boyfriends.

Because the older man recanted his story in court, Almanza’s only eyewitness testimony helped convict the female defendant who was sentenced to 19 years in state prison in March 2015.

The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles resident Luis Moreno, 27, was working at a wireless phone store in Carson when an armed robber entered the store on June 15, 2014.

The robber pushed employees and customers to the back of the store and had Moreno place phones in a trash bag.

Moreno intentionally placed an iPhone with an active GPS locator which later helped deputies locate the robber in Long Beach.

The robber was identified and arrested with the stolen property. On June 10, 2015, the defendant, who had a criminal history, was sentenced to 30 years in state prison.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The awards ceremony was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Long Beach. The event also marked the 29th anniversary of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office annual Courageous Citizens Awards.

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