Off-Duty Hero Deputy Thwarts Child Threat: Illinois Officer’s Quick Thinking Rewarded


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JOLIET, IL – A commendable act of vigilance by an off-duty Will County Sheriff’s Correctional Deputy has earned him recognition from the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge. Deputy David Frederick’s quick thinking and unwavering dedication recently averted a potential threat to school children during a field trip.

While accompanying Reed-Custer Elementary School District students on a trip to Brookfield Zoo in May, Deputy Frederick, who was off duty at the time, sprang into action. He astutely identified a convicted sex offender, Jason Escalante, who was acting as a chaperone. Frederick’s swift response led to Escalante’s arrest upon the bus’s arrival at the zoo.

Escalante’s apprehension didn’t mark the end of his alarming presence. Released just days later, he was once again arrested, this time near Reed-Custer Elementary School’s front parking lot, as he attempted to drop off a child. 

The prestigious award was presented by Retired Correctional Sgt. Bridget Graham, who currently serves as the President of the Sheriff’s Office FOP Lodge 94. In a heartfelt ceremony, Deputy Frederick was lauded for his exceptional judgment and commitment to safeguarding the community’s youth.

“On May 5, CO Frederick was off-duty and was chaperoning a field trip when he recognized a registered sex offender,” Sheriff’s Office spokesperson stated. “While keeping a close eye on the man, Frederick contacted local police who arrived and arrested the man. Local police took the man into custody and charged him with being on school grounds as a registered offender.”

The Will County Sheriff’s Office takes immense pride in Deputy Frederick’s decisive actions, which have now been rightfully acknowledged by the Illinois FOP State Lodge. It is a shining example of the dedication and bravery that the law enforcement community strives to uphold. Congratulations to Correctional Deputy Frederick for his well-deserved recognition and for setting a commendable standard for all.


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