The presentation by Sheriff William Honsal is to honor John Marceil, the brave citizen who helped save a child’s life at Centerville Beach. Marceil was given the Sheriff's Citizen's Distinguished Service award.
"If it wasn't for him, we would be doing a homicide investigation," said Sheriff Honsal.
Marceil was very humble, saying all this attention has been overwhelming."
When asked what was going through his mind at that time, Marceil said, "Just save her. She is a child, she needed help."
After the presentation was over, Superisor Bohn said in jest to Sheriff Honsal, "Did you give him a get out of jail free card?"
Sheriff Honsal said, "Our Deputies do this everyday, they are heroes, but to have a citizen do this; we don't see often what you did."
Sheriff Honsal said Marceil told his family to stay back. They wanted to help but Marceil was protecting his family. Others just drove by and did not stop.
Even after law enforcement got there and took Kimberly Felder into custody, Marceil stayed to confort the young girl. He was on his way to his son's graduation.
Benbow Inn gave a gift certificate for one night stay. and 511 gave a dinner certificate to Marceil.
Maggie Fleming attended on behalf of the District Attorney's office along with Deputy DA Stacey Eads, who is prosecuting the Kimberly Felder case, were at the briefing. Supervisor Rex Bohn was present as well as several HCSO staff. Marceil got a standing ovation.
More photos on Facebook.
Times Standard's Will Houston, LOCO's Sierra Jenkins, North Coast News' Nazy Javid and a KIEM reporter were there.
Original Press Release:
On Friday June 18h at approximately 9:00 am the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in regards to a small child being attacked by the child’s mother at Centerville beach near Ferndale. The caller stated that the mother was attempting to perform an exorcism on the 11 year old child. The mother had stripped the child naked and was shoving handfuls of sand in the child’s eyes and into the child’s mouth. The mother stated she was trying to remove the Demons from the child.
The mother, 45 year old Kimberly Felder of Ferndale, continued the assault by viciously striking, biting, and choking the child. This assault was being witnessed by a crowd of approximately 10 to 12 people. When local citizen John Marciel arrived on scene, he immediately stepped in and attempted to restrain Felder and prevent further assault to the child. Marciel struggled on the ground with the Felder, while Felder continued her persistent attack on the child by hitting the child in the head with a piece of driftwood. A short time later a Sheriff’s Deputy arrived and Felder was finally pulled from the child and placed in handcuffs.
John Marceil further assisted by tending to the child while deputies controlled Felder. Emergency Medical technicians arrived and transported the child to a hospital where she received further treatment for her injuries. The child received multiple injuries from the attack including severe damage to her right ear.
Kimberly Felder was later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted homicide, assault with a deadly weapon, felony child abuse, and aggravated mayhem.
If it were not for the intervention and heroic actions of John Marciel, it is very likely that the child would have been killed by Felder. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer special thanks for his assistance. The Sheriff’s Office will also be requesting that John Marciel be recognized for the Red Cross Life Saving Award.