Odessa Officer Earns Officer of the Month After Courageous Act

Odessa Officer Earns Officer of the Month After Courageous Act

By Alexa Williams

NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Each day, police officers set out expecting the unexpected. For one Odessa detective, his courageous act has earned him Townsquare Media and NewsWest 9's officer of the month.

"It was crazy! Adrenaline rushing you know," said Mauro Matai, Odessa Police Detective and officer of the month recipient.

Matai said everything started when he went to an apartment complex looking for a woman who was wanted.

"When we made contact with her, she did not want to identify herself as the subject we were looking for," said Matai.

Matai explained they were inside her living room and the balcony was to her right.

"We talked to her and one of my Sergeant's said, 'hey, we have an officer coming in with an I.D., you have your chance right then for you to come clean and tell us who are,'" said Matai.

That's when the woman told the officers she would rather die then go back to jail.

"And she took off through the balcony and she literally just jumped," said Matai.

Without thinking, Matai ran into action.

"I rush in and I grab her by the ankles and she was hanging upside down and by then my Sergeant and two other officers rush in and help me pick her up," said Matai.

He said it's a day he'll never forget.

"Anything can happen, anything! But you know it's not something we deal with everyday. It's not every day that people jump off balconies!" said Matai.

Although Matai is honored to be nominated as Officer of the Month, he feels his fellow officers are just as deserving.

"We all each and every day put our lives at risk to protect other people, people sometimes who don't even like us, don't even appreciate us but that's what we're here for," said Matai.

Detective Matai is also on the SWAT Team, speaks three languages and is originally from Mozambique.

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