Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

BROWARD (CBSMiami) – Deputy Sean Reyka earned praise and acknowledgment Tuesday from his peers and superiors at the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

READ MORE: Ramirez homer caps 5-run 1st, Rays beat Marlins 5-4

He believes the award he won would certainly please his father. But more importantly, his dad would be proud of the way he’s living his life.

“We are awarding Sean Reyka the Silver Cross award. Congratulations!”

Hundreds of Broward Sheriff’s deputies and employees applauded Reyka.

The young deputy, with just three years on the job, earned the award for his actions last October in Pompano Beach.

Reyka told CBS4 News first about his run-in with Darius James.

One early morning last October on a street in Pompano Beach, Reyka pulled over a car with a taillight, headlight and brake light out. Reyka figured the driver might have had an electrical problem and thought he’d give the guy a warning.

But when Reyka walked up to the car that plan changed.

“He suddenly accelerates backward and I jump out of the way and it hits my elbow,” Reyka told CBS4’s Carey Codd.

Reyka said he figured the guy would take off and he’d be gone. But as the young deputy stood on the lawn of a house in a residential neighborhood with the car less than 15 feet away from him he knew this situation was different.

“(The driver’s) staring at me through the windows,” Reyka recalled. “He’s just staring at me. I’m yelling at him. Completely emotionless.”

In the next moment, Reyka says he was in danger.

“All of a sudden he guns it,” Reyka said. “He comes straight for me.”

READ MORE: Psychologist shares how to talk to your child about Texas school shooting

Reyka had little time to react and thought there were two possible outcomes.

“He’s going to hit me and I’m gonna go into the building behind me,” he said. “And one of two things are gonna happen – either I’m not gonna make it or I’m gonna be paralyzed for life.”

Reyka ran for cover and the car clipped his leg. The driver fled and Reyka and a fellow deputy got info that the driver – James – had a warrant for misdemeanor pot possession. Reyka found the car a short distance away and James was arrested.

The incident happened less than two miles from where Reyka’s father, Chris Reyka, was murdered at a Pompano Beach Walgreen’s in 2007.

“You get goosebumps no doubt about it,” Reyka said.

Sheriff Scott Israel said Reyka chose to work in Pompano Beach to follow in his father’s footsteps.

And he said Reyka is making a name for himself.

“He’s about helping people, combating crime, making sure that the citizen’s quality of life is raised. He’s done a phenomenal job,” Sheriff Israel said of the younger Reyka.

Reyka said he was just doing his job that morning, and that any of his fellow deputies would have done the same thing.

He can see the parallels between what happened to him and what happened to his father, but he said he sees it in a much different light.

“I’ll get angrier at myself more than anything else, because in my mind if I had performed better, done better, maybe I could have avoided it and it’s on me to make sure something that happened to my dad doesn’t happen to me. My family’s already suffered enough loss as it is,” he said.

Reyka suffered injuries to his back and hip and missed about six weeks of work but he’s back on the job.

MORE NEWS: New FBI report finds active shooter attacks on the rise

He’s about to graduate from college and plans to attend law school while continuing his career at BSO.