Contact: Albert O'Leary
PBA Communications Director
212-298-9190

or Joseph Mancini
212-298-9150

May 3, 2012
For Immediate Release




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FINEST OF THE FINEST

Thirty-eight members of the NYPD (32 police officers, 4 Sergeants, 1 Detective and 1 Deputy Inspector) — including Police Officer Kevin Brennan who survived a point blank shot to the head — were honored by their peers for acts of heroism and bravery today at the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s (PBA) annual “Finest of the Finest” awards luncheon at Bridgewaters at the Fulton Market, Manhattan.

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said:

“Receiving a ‘Finest of the Finest’ award is particularly meaningful because it is an honor bestowed by your fellow NYC police officers. The men and women that we honor today have put it all on the line in the performance of their duty.  They have faced the fire, stood firm and triumphed against the odds and have earned the right to be listed among the finest of New York’s finest.”

Along with those honored for actions during combat with armed assailants are police officers who saved the life of a two-month-old infant; intervened in a vicious, fatal knife attack and an off-duty officer who collared a multiple sex abuser on the subway and was nearly killed in the process.

BRONX

Police Officer Charles Alexander of the 47 Precinct is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Quick-Thinking and Resourceful Action Taken in an Attempt to Save the Life of a Stabbing Victim.

This officer, responding with other officers to an assault-in-progress in an apartment, was faced with an impossible situation. The scene he witnessed as he secured location outside the building was this perp trying to push his girlfriend off a third-floor balcony. When Officer Alexander realized that the punches the assailant was throwing at his victim were actually knife thrusts, he acted quickly, firing three rounds at the man and striking him twice, ending the attack. Unfortunately, despite this officer’s quick action and expert marksmanship, the perp survived and his victim was DOA.

LOWER MANHATTAN & STATEN ISLAND

Police Officer Michael Parisi of the 120 Precinct is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Lives of His Fellow Police Officers in a Life-and-Death Confrontation With an Armed Suspect.

Responding to a report of a man with a firearm, Officer Parisi arrived at the location and saw a man who fit the description of the gunman. Without hesitation, the officer got out of his car and pursued the man into the rear of a building, where he saw the suspect holding a black firearm. Officer Parisi drew his weapon and issued the “police-don’t-move” order. Rather than complying, the suspect aimed the firearm at the officer, who squeezed off two rounds that hit their target and caused the suspect to drop his weapon and flee. He was found hiding in a nearby residence, was arrested and transported to the hospital. It turned out the man was a known gang member with nine prior arrests.

Police Officer Ralph Stallone of Staten Island Emergency Service is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in an Exchange of Gunfire With a Dangerous Gunman.

Officer Stallone, responding to a robbery-in-progress with shots fired in a private residence, encountered a very dangerous situation. There were two victims shot — one of them mortally wounded — and the perpetrator holed up in the basement with a loaded firearm.  Holding a tactical ballistic shield in from of him and with other officers bringing up the rear, Officer Stallone entered the hiding place and ultimately found the suspect hiding in a closet. After being ordered twice to show his hands, the perp aimed his .25-caliber semi-automatic at the team and the officer responded by discharging his firearm seven times. Due to this officer’s rapid response, tactical abilities and disregard for his own personal safety, the threat was ended. The gunman did not recover from his wounds.

MANHATTAN SOUTH

Police Officers Victor Appel and Richard Schofield of the 17th Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives and the Life of a Fellow Police Officer in a Confrontation With a Knife-Wielding Assailant.

Responding to a reported street fight, these officers came upon one woman, with a knife in each had, chasing another woman.  After ignoring repeated commands from the officers to drop the weapons, the assailant turned, raised both hands, brandishing a knife in each, and ran at the officers. They had no choice but to draw their weapons and open fire. The crazed knife-woman succumbed to her wounds at Bellevue Hospital.

BROOKLYN NORTH

Police Officer Kevin Brennan of the 77 Precinct is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken While Being Wounded to Defend His Life and the Lives of Fellow Police Officers in an Exchange of Gunfire and a Physical Struggle With a Violent Criminal. And Police Officers Michael Burbridge and Christopher Mastoros of the 75 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives and the Lives of Fellow Police Officers in an Exchange of Gunfire and a Physical Struggle With a Violent Criminal.

Officer Kevin Brennan today is a well-known hero but, as his doctors and the news coverage have recounted, he came very close to being a dead hero. He was shot a point-blank range with a 38-caliber handgun behind his right ear in a struggle with a suspect he had been chasing. The bullet came so close to vital parts of his brain that his doctors pronounced a miracle that he survived. In fact, he has done so well that on April 23 he and his wife Janet were able to celebrate their infant daughter Maeve’s christening by Timothy Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Major contributors to this happy ending were Officers Burbridge and Mastoros, whose quick responses rendering aid to Officer Brennan and getting him to the hospital in short order were vital to the miracle.

Police officer Daniel Trione and Sergeant Anthony Gulotta of the 75 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives and the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and Innocent Civilians in an Exchange of Gunfire With a Dangerous Criminal.

Supplied with a description of the suspect by an eyewitness to a shooting, Officer Trione and Sergeant Gulotta tracked the gunman to a livery cab, which they stopped, with their guns drawn. The suspect jumped out of the rear passenger side of the cab with his gun drawn and ducked into a combat position facing the officers. Ignoring commands to drop his weapon, the suspect responded by saying, “You’re going to have to shoot me.” The officers had no choice but to comply. The suspect was DOA.

MANHATTAN NORTH

Police Officers Brian Dennis and Eric Sorensen of the 30 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Resourceful, Quick-Thinking, Humane and Expert Action Taken to Save the Life of an Infant in Cardiac Arrest.

The next incident is what’s known as a heart-warmer. These officers were responding to a call about a baby having difficulty breathing. And with breath-taking speed, they sprang into action. They caught up with the mother and child in a livery cab rushing to the hospital. Police Officer Dennis, a trained EMT, got into the back seat of the cab with the mother and the one-month old boy and immediately began full CPR while Officer Sorensen gave them and RMP escort to the emergency room. By the time they got there, the baby was breathing on his own and hospital staff did the rest.

Police Officers Yoel Goldstein and Anthony Lombardo of the 30 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in a Deadly Confrontation With a Knife-Wielding Emotionally Disturbed Person.

 “I’m ready to kill some cops.” That’s what the emotionally disturbed person on the phone had told the 911 operator. He repeated the threat several times before these officers confronted him on a street corner waving a knife. They pleaded with him to drop the blade but he kept coming at them. They tased him, but he laughed it off. They retreated as far as they could until they were backed into a corner and could retreat no further. Finally, they fired their weapons at him. He had said he was ready to kill a cop but, apparently, what he really wanted — and got — was to commit suicide by cop.

Police Officer Keith Bedows and Sergeants Frank Burns, Corey Layton and Robert Abramson of Patrol Borough Manhattan North are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in an Exchange of Gunfire With an Attempted Murderer.

On anti-crime patrol in an unmarked RMP, these officers saw two men walking together on the street. One of the men they were observing made the gestures that say to an experienced cop: man-with-a-gun. The diagnosis was correct. The man fled and started shooting at them. The suspect, who turned out to have a violent-felony history, lost the gun battle that came next. He was arrested and hospitalized.

BROOKLYN SOUTH

Police Officers Thomas Dembinksi, Brian Thompson and Kathleen Correa of the Patrol Borough Brooklyn South Task Force and Police Officers Albert Romano and Vlad Green of the 70 Precinct and Police Officer John Dasaro of the 71 Precinct and Police Officer Robert Dolan of the Canine Team are all named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in an Exchange of Gunfire With an Attempted Murderer.

These officers came from all different directions, pursuing a gunman who had already fired at other NYPD officers. There was a foot pursuit into driveways and alleys, there were shots fired at them by the perpetrator and there was a return of gunfire by the officers. Officer Dolan suffered a minor bullet-fragment injury and his fellow officers were unharmed. The gunman wound up arrested and in the hospital with two gunshot wounds.

Police Officer Jason Reynolds of the 60 Precinct and Police Officer Albert Lloyd of the 70 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in an Exchange of Gunfire With an Attempted Murderer.

These officers were on their way out of a Brooklyn pub while off duty when a bunch of loudmouths started arguing with them. They identified themselves as cops and said, “We’re just here to have some fun — we don’t want any problems.” But problems they got. One of the men suddenly punched Officer Lloyd in the face. In the fight that followed, the assailant got possession of Officer Lloyd’s gun and started running and shooting. Officer Reynolds did some shooting of his own and stopped the perp, who wound up with three non-life-threatening bullet wounds.

QUEENS NORTH

Police Officers John Zamot, Edgar Gomez and Anthony Jones of the 110 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in a Confrontation With a Violent Car-Jacker.

These anti-crime officers were on the trail of an attempted car-jacker armed with what appeared to be a handgun. He showed the weapon to the man whose car he tried to rob and to several civilian witnesses. When the officers got to the scene and identified themselves, the suspect ignored repeated orders to stop and turned and ran away, with the cops giving chase. The suspect attempted to pull an object from his waistband and aimed it toward them. One shot from Officer Zamot stopped the threat and sent the suspect to the hospital. The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.

QUEENS SOUTH

Police Officers Christopher Kearney and Travis Mussaw of the 101 Precinct are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Quick-Thinking, Tactically Sound and Highly Intelligent Action Taken to Apprehend a Violent Gang Member and Murderer Without Injury to Police Officers and Others.

When they heard what sounded like shots fired, these officers began canvassing the area for possible victims and suspects. They soon saw what certainly looked like a suspect — a man running down the sidewalk, looking furtively in all directions. After he refused to comply with orders to stop, the officers cut off his path with their vehicle and, after a brief struggle, were able to cuff him. The shooting victim, a rival gang member, was pronounced dead.

Police Officer Kevin Desormeau of the 106 Precinct is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Life of a Fellow Police Officer in an Exchange of Gunfire and a Violent Struggle With an Attempted Murderer. And Detective Orin Cox of the 106 Precinct is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Life of a Fellow Police Officer After Being Shot at and in a Violent Struggle With His Attempted Murderer.

In plainclothes and on routine unmarked RMP patrol, these officers attempted to stop and question a man who was behaving suspiciously. The suspect’s response was to plant his feet, lean back, produce a firearm from his waistband and fire several shots at the officers. After a chase and an exchange of gunfire, the officers collared the perp after he violently resisted arrest.

TRANSIT

Police Officer Jason Butler of Transit District 3 is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Quick-Thinking and Resourceful Action Taken While Off Duty to Defend His Life and to Apprehend a Serial Sex Abuser.

This officer was off duty and leaving the subway when he heard a woman telling a booth clerk how her 13-year-old daughter had just been sexually abused. At the same time an 18-year-old woman reported that she had also been assaulted in a similar manner. The victims led Officer Butler to the subway platform and identified the assailant. Officer drew his weapon and attempted to apprehend the suspect. While a train was entering the station behind the officer, the suspect, on the ground about to be cuffed, tried to push the officer with his shoulder into the oncoming train. Officer Butler, falling backward, discharged one round, hitting the suspect, and avoiding injury.

Police Officer Terrance Howell of Transit District 2 is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Intelligent and Resourceful Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Lives of Innocent Civilians in Apprehending Without Further Bloodshed a Knife-Wielding Serial Stabber and Murderer.

This officer was on duty in the subway when he came face-to-face with a man who had become the most sought-after suspect in the city because, over the course of 28 hours, he had committed three fatal stabbings, two car-jackings and a hit-and-run homicide. The suspect had just stabbed a passenger and was holding his knife at a 90-degree angle above his head. Aiming his weapon at the suspect, Officer Howell gave the order to drop the weapon, then grabbed the knife with one hand and holstered his gun with the other. While radioing for assistance, he actually managed to cuff the struggling maniac without firing his weapon, bringing a one-man crime wave to an abrupt halt.

HOUSING

Police Officer Sean Hughes and Deputy Inspector Brian McGinn of PSA 3 are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Quick-Thinking and Resourceful Action Taken to Apprehend an Armed Murderer Without Further Injury to Other Police Officers and Innocent Bystanders.

Police Officer Hughes was driving and Inspector McGinn, C.O. of PSA 3, was making his duty-inspector rounds, when they heard shots fired and saw people running. A shooting victim was being helped into a car and another man was wrestling with a man with a gun. DI McGinn and Police Officer Hughes took immediate action and were able to apprehend the shooter and call for assistance for the victim, who later died. The suspect, who had had a dispute with the victim, was charged with second-degree murder.

Police Officers Thomas Dunne and Thomas Richards of PSA 4 are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Their Lives, the Lives of Fellow Police Officers and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in an Exchange of Gunfire With an Attempted Murderer.

These officers, after observing a man who was out of breath and fixing his waistband, pulled over their vehicle and attempted to investigate the situation. When they approached, the suspect drew a handgun and fired several shots at both officers, striking Officer Richards’ magazine holder, which was attached to his duty belt. There was a chase, an exchange of gunfire, and another chase, leading to the suspect’s arrest after a canvas of the area.

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