Video Report By Steve Price, Reporter - bio | email
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Hundreds of motorcycle riders cruised through the back country Saturday to raise money for injured sheriffs deputies.
Among those attending the event -- three deputies shot in the line of duty in just the past 13 months.
More than 300 motorcycle riders came together to raise money for the San Diego Deputy Sheriffs Association -- money the association hopes it never has to spend.
It's called the "Save the Bacon Ride," and money raised goes to help the families of local sheriffs deputies injured on the job.
"It started last year - on the heels of a horrific shooting in Lakeside - where we had two deputies critically injured," Deputy Sheriff's Assoc. President Matt Clay said.
It happened September 2012, a suspected child molester opened fire on the deputies as they were coming to arrest him.
Detective Ali Perez, an 18 year veteran, was in critical condition after being shot in the torso. Sgt. Craig Johnson was shot in the same area and left in serious condition.
Saturday, both of them are well on the road to recovery and attended the fundraiser, which especially helps Detective Perez' family during a tough time.
"I've been a direct beneficiary of this - and I can't wait for some - I don't want someone to get hurt - but I want to help a family in a time of need and it doesn't get any better than that," Perez said.
Saturday's ride through the back hills and mountains took most riders about three hours and ended with a party at the finish line - the Deputy Sheriff's Association Headquarters.
"As a deputy - you sometimes feel that people don't understand what you do - but today - and certainly last year's event - is a testament to the amount of support we do get from the community."
Another shooting, less than eight months ago in Encinitas reminded the community of just how dangerous law enforcement's job can be. Deputy Colin Snodgrass was shot in the knee by a man with a history of mental illness and heroin abuse.
Deputy Snodgrass, who is still recovering from his injuries, also made an appearance at Saturday's fundraiser.
"It's exciting to see all the support...I got to feel it first hand - but to see it like this - is exciting," Snodgrass said.
This year's ride also honored Deputy Michael McFarlan who died September 24th from a heart attack.
McFarlan, who worked out of the Valley Center substation, was just 48-years-old. He leaves behind a wife and four children.