Dublin Police Services this weekend will recognize a somber anniversary with a memorial tree lighting in honor of John Monego, an Alameda County sheriff's deputy who was killed in the line of duty during a robbery in progress at a restaurant in Dublin in 1998.
"This year marks the 24th anniversary of Deputy Monego's ultimate sacrifice," Dublin police Capt. Nate Schmidt told the Weekly. "It is important that we never forget Deputy Monego's dedication to this community and is a reminder that the men and women of Dublin police continue to put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of this city."
Monego, a 33-year-old sheriff's deputy assigned to DPS, was the second officer to arrive on-scene to investigate a 911 hangup at the Outback Steakhouse on Regional Street late at night on Dec. 11, 1998. Unbeknownst to Monego, the hangup call actually came during a strong-arm robbery with hostages.
The first deputy to respond to the restaurant had gone inside to investigate but she was overpowered by the three robbers, who took her gun, according to the "Officer Down Memorial Page," which honors law enforcement personnel killed on duty nationwide and retells their stories.
As Monego approached the front door, one of the robbers opened fire through a glass window, striking the deputy in the chest just above his protective vest. As Monego fell, the shooter walked outside and shot the deputy five more times at close range.
The culprits fled the scene but were later arrested after a short pursuit. Each would be convicted of various counts at trial.
Monego, a Brentwood resident who had worked for the sheriff's office for 13 years overall, was transported to a local hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after midnight on Dec. 12, 1998. He was survived by his wife and toddler son.
The annual memorial tree lighting is set to take place at 5 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 10) in the lobby of Dublin police headquarters at 6361 Clark Ave. Light refreshments will be served.