BUSINESS WIRE--The Wireless Foundation and members of CTIA-The Wireless Association® proudly honored MetroPCS customer, Claudio Veras of Newnan, Georgia on Monday, June 2nd with a 2008 VITATM Wireless Samaritan Award. Veras was honored during the 14th Annual Wireless Foundation Achievement Awards Dinner for using his wireless device to help prevent a potential tragedy.
A routine trip to Wal-Mart gave Claudio Veras the chance to become a hero. When he saw an older woman being violently assaulted during an attempted carjacking, Mr. Veras came to her assistance. The carjacker pointed a gun in Mr. Veras’ face and told him to leave. Mr. Veras returned to his car but continued to keep an eye on the situation. When the carjacker started to drive away in the woman’s car with her still inside, Mr. Veras followed them and dialed 911 using his wireless device. When the suspect saw Mr. Veras on the phone in the rearview mirror, he jumped from the car and ran. Mr. Veras stayed with the woman, who told him that the suspect had threatened to kill her. Police were able to obtain security camera footage showing the man escaping into another car. Shortly after distributing a bulletin to law enforcement agencies throughout the Southeast, police in Alabama apprehended the suspect. Evidence in his car linked him not only to three other robberies, but also to the murder of Auburn University freshman Lauren Burk. Mr. Veras not only saved a woman’s life, he stopped a violent criminal very likely to offend again.
“Thanks to Veras’s immediate response and the use of innovative wireless technology, tragedy was averted,” said Steve Largent, CTIA-The Wireless Association® President and CEO. “On behalf of the wireless industry, I commend Claudio for taking responsibility and stepping up to the plate to lend a hand in this dangerous situation. Claudio is a well-deserving recipient of the 2008 VITATM Wireless Samaritan Award, and we are proud to honor him in this way.”
Every day more than 290,000 wireless phone calls are made to 911. That is why the VITA™ (Latin for "life") Wireless Samaritan Awards are presented annually to recognize people across the United States who used their wireless technology to save lives, stop crime and help in other emergency situations. These individuals exemplify the importance of putting safety first, as well as the crucial role wireless technology can play in emergencies.
In recognition of Claudio Veras’s quick thinking and bold action during an urgent situation, he was selected by a panel of law enforcement and emergency response representatives to receive the 2008 VITATM Wireless Samaritan Award. This award honors citizens who have used wireless responsibly in emergencies, and is given annually to roughly thirty recipients nationwide.