Staten Island Advance
April 25, 2013


Police relief fund donates $50,000 to family of Staten Island cop killed by Hurricane Sandy

By Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance

Gathered at the check presentation are, from left: Lt. Lou Carabetta, Lieutenant Benevolent Association; Det. Jeffrey A. Ward, Detectives' Endowment Association; Marta Kasprzak, Police Officer Artur Kasprzak's sister; his parents, Jozef and Irena Kasprzak; Capt. Roy T. Richter, President Captains Endowment Association; Police Officer John Puglissi, Police Benevolent Association; and Sgt. Vincent J. Vallelong, Sergeants Benevolent Association.
Gathered at the check presentation are, from left: Lt. Lou Carabetta, Lieutenant Benevolent Association; Det. Jeffrey A. Ward, Detectives' Endowment Association; Marta Kasprzak, Police Officer Artur Kasprzak's sister; his parents, Jozef and Irena Kasprzak; Capt. Roy T. Richter, President Captains Endowment Association; Police Officer John Puglissi, Police Benevolent Association; and Sgt. Vincent J. Vallelong, Sergeants Benevolent Association.
   Police searching for a robbery suspect stop and frisk a group of young people in South Beach.  
Kasprzak, a Polish native, was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan.

   

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Wednesday was Artur Kasprzak's kind of day.

Warm. Breezy. Perfect for grilling and knocking back a few cold beers.

But the South Beach resident wasn't there to enjoy the fine weather.

Six months ago, the 28-year-old NYPD officer was killed by Hurricane Sandy.

Kasprzak, who was off-duty, had shepherded seven family members, including a 15-month-old baby, to the attic in his Doty Avenue home to escape surging flood waters. But when the six-year Police Department veteran went back downstairs to check the basement, he came into contact with water that had been electrified by live wires, and died.

"Whenever there is a mention of him, I'm broken inside," said Kasprzak's sister, Marta Kasprzak, outside her parents' Sunnyside home.

The hero cop's family had gathered to accept $50,000 donated by the New York Police Disaster Relief Fund.

Founded by five police unions -- the Captains and Detectives Endowment Associations and the Lieutenants, Sergeants and Patrolmen's Benevolent Associations -- the organization has provided grants to 960 cops who sustained property damage in the storm, said Roy Richter, president of the captain's union and John Puglissi, first vice president of the patrolmen's union. Kasprzak was the only police officer killed.

"There's nothing that can compensate anybody for losing their life," said Richter. "We're happy the public contributed to the fund and we can offer Artur's family a token for what he did and his service to the city."

Kasprzak, a Polish native, was assigned to the 1st Precinct in Manhattan.

During the presentation, his parents, Irena and Jozef, fought back tears as they clutched a framed poster featuring his photo alongside the Police Academy's 3 "C" motto: Crime suppression, counter-terrorism and community relations. The poster, which once graced the academy, now hangs inside the 1st Precinct.

Ms. Kasprzak, said her parents, who speak little English, were grateful for the financial help.

"It's going to be very useful," she said.

Despite her outward composure, Ms. Kasprzak, 32, said she still hasn't come to grips with losing her brother.

"I miss his smile," she said, adding he enjoyed grilling outdoors, drinking a few beers and working on his Mustang car.

It was his "baby," said the Rosebank resident.

"He was full of life. He had his life ahead of him," Ms. Kasprzak said. "I feel that he matured in the last few years when he became a cop."