Update: Although has has received two meritorious service awards, he has also been at the center of controversy. An anti-gay slur made by Pike played into a 2008 discrimination lawsuit filed against the department by a former officer, the AP reports. That resulted in a $240,000 settlement. Read more on CBS News.
Original Story: It was only a few years ago that the UC Davis police officer now at the center of public outrage over the fracas in the Quad Friday was enjoying media attention of a more positive variety.
Lt. John Pike was a sergeant with the UC Davis police in 2006 when he stopped a distressed patient wielding surgical scissors from stabbing a fellow cop. The episode at the UC Davis Medical Center earned Pike his second Meritorious Service Award.
Here’s a description of the scene from the UC Davis press office in 2007: "I hit her hard," the 34-year-old former Marine recalled. So hard that he not only knocked down the patient, but [fellow officers], too.
"For me it was just a normal day at the office," said Pike, who went to the floor with the suspect as he grabbed her arm, the one holding the scissors. "She posed a threat, and I had to handle it. I didn't want her to hurt either of my partners."
Video of Friday's incident in the Quad shows on seated protesters. Protesters have named Pike as one of the sprayers. Tweets claiming to contain Pike's email address, private phone number and home adress in Davis were posted Saturday morning.
Pike picked up a promotion to lieutenant when he received the Meritorious Service Award at a ceremony in 2007. His first public recognition with UC Davis police was in 2003, when he used his patrol car to safely prevent a drunk driver from entering Highway 99 against traffic.
According to the UCD press office, Pike started his law enforcement career with the Sacramento Police Department. His public LinkedIn profile lists him as a graduate of California State University, Hayward and a member of the Theta Chi fraternity.
In a letter addressed to the UC Davis community Saturday, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi called the use of pepper spray against the protesters, "chilling to us all."
Pike's past three years of salary information have been added to the Davis Wiki. His salary is more than $100,000 each year.
A fake Twitter account with the handle @PepperSprayPike has been created, with tweets like "IF I WAS STRANDED ON A DESERTED ISLAND AND COULD ONLY SPRAY ONE PERSON... IT WOULD BE.... AHHHH!! TOO HARD!! NEED CHEETOS!!!"