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Coats officer recalls harrowing night at domestic dispute, arson

Posted November 25, 2013

— A Coats police officer who responded to a violent domestic dispute Friday night at a mobile home is being credited with getting four people – including two children – out of home when it was set on fire.

Officer Dustin Miller, 29, who has been on the force for less than a year, said it was all part of the job.

“I like helping people,” he said. “I think God gives everybody a gift, and you’ve got to use your gift.”

Coats Police Department Work is reward for Coats police officer

When Miller arrived at 19 Keyman Drive, he found a chaotic scene with multiple victims and the suspect jumping out of the back window of the residence.

Christopher Valdez, 18, who lives at the home, was charged Saturday with first-degree arson and two counts of assault inflicting serious injury, authorities said. Authorities said he assaulted his girlfriend, a neighbor and a family member, then set the mobile home ablaze.

“I ended up putting restraints on him, at which time I realized I felt the heat coming from the left side of me,” Miller said. “I looked up, and the home was pretty much engulfed at that time.”

Then someone said two children were inside.

Miller went into the burning home and found two of the victims with the children. He escorted everyone out.

“It was dark and you couldn’t really breathe that well,” he said. “But I wanted to make sure those kids got out. “The last thing you want is, you know, losing two children.”

Miller said the night is one he won’t forget.

“Yeah, it’s going to be there for a while,” he said.


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  • stymieindurham Nov 26, 2013

    Good job for putt'n it on the line brother!!

  • Granny Nov 26, 2013

    Really good officers like this one that risk their lives daily for me and you do not get paid enough!! Thank you Office Miller for using the abilities that God gave you for something good! Wishing you the best in your career!!

  • bigredtruckman Nov 26, 2013

    This officer is a great example! Many thanks to him and wishes for a long, happy and safe career!

  • monami Nov 26, 2013

    Thank you to this officer. Advice to other nut case 18 year old boys/"men":: don't father children (yes, an infant is his), don't hit women, and don't set things on fire.

    And to think, this kid will be out of prison one day. Big sigh.

  • Wake1 Nov 26, 2013

    True hero!!!

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 26, 2013

    The kid who set the fire looks like a nut case.

  • scubagirl2 Nov 26, 2013

    We need MORE like Officer Miller. THAT'S what a LEO should be like. KUDOS to you sir....

  • scubagirl2 Nov 26, 2013

    ummmmm, where EXACTLY is domestic dispute located??? I want to be sure NOT to go there when traveling.

  • thepeopleschamp Nov 26, 2013

    Great job. The officer's actions in this article are more common than people realize, nice to see a story like this once in a while.

  • babygurl324 Nov 26, 2013

    Congrads officer Miller for a job well done.Thank God for hero's like you.I pray that other's that read this story and that is in a domestic situation will consider seeking help before something like this happens..Again thanks a millon for all that you did