Changing careers brings personal improvement for Cullen Calderon | Crime

Changing careers brings personal improvement for Cullen Calderon | Crime

The skills he had learned and used in the past year helped him on a day he will never forget, a day he said, “changed my life forever, Sept. 10, 2019. I’ll never forget the date because it’s read the same way forward as it is backwards 9-10-19.”

Calderon was working outside in the yard at WMCI but came inside to help observe the chow hall during lunch.

“My friend, another CO, asked if I was OK to observe the chow hall or if I wanted to switch out,” he said. “I nodded and responded with a simple ‘I got this’.”

At this point, Calderon had just graduated from the academy and finished up additional training. He had only been on his own for three months.

As he was standing, observing inmates, he heard a commotion.

“I looked over to see an inmate had walked up to another inmate, who was sitting down and eating, and began hitting him in a stabbing like motion,” Calderon said. “I was about 20 feet from the attacker. Without any hesitation, I guess fight or flight kicked in, and I ran toward the stabbing.”

He went to grab his OC (pepper spray) but dropped it the moment he pulled it from his duty belt. Calderon knew it would waste too much time to pick it back up, so he continued to run toward the stabbing.

“In a split second, I ran and positioned myself behind the attacker and then tackled him from behind,” he said. “The attacker and I go to the ground. My chest was on his back.”