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Albert O’Leary 212-298-9190
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PRESS RELEASE

January 13, 2005


"Finest of the Finest" awards

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) today (Thursday, Jan. 13) honored 37 New York City police officers and two sergeants for acts of heroism and humanitarianism. They were cited at the “Finest of the Finest” luncheon at Manhattan’s Water Club on the banks of the East River.

The honorees ranged from the police officer who donated a kidney to save the life of a perfect stranger to the rookie who risked her life to save innocent civilians from a crazed man on a mid-day stabbing spree in Greeley Park. The incidents commemorated feats of valor, compassion and resourcefulness, including dangerous shootouts and daredevil rescues. There were life-saving actions of a more delicate nature – like the incident involving cops who saved the life of a boy with a piece of a Lego toy stuck in his throat. 

PBA President Patrick J. Lynch and other members of the union’s executive board hosted the bi-annual event. The officers – accompanied by their friends and family – were treated to a cocktail party and lunch and presented with plaques commemorating their deeds.  

“New York City police officers perform extraordinary acts every day. We call the officers honored here today the ‘Finest of the Finest,’” said Lynch. “And that’s because, of all the awards our officers get, we value these the most because the recipients are selected by other police officers – by their peers – which makes it all that much more special.”

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Incidents for Which the Officers Were Honored

Police Officers William Kivlehen, John Baumeister and Sean O’Connell of PBS/ACU are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant and Resourceful Action Taken to Defend Their Lives and the Lives of Fellow Police Officers in a Confrontation With an Armed and Dangerous Suspect.

Police Officers Stephen Zupic, Joseph Picciotta and Joel Rios of the 41 Pct. 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 with a Desperate Criminal.

Police Officers Joseph A. Dennis and Charles L. Hollis and of the 23 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant and Resourceful Action Taken to Apprehend an Armed and Dangerous Homicide Suspect.

Police Officers Brandon Pedrosa and Hector Natal of the 33 Pct. are 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 With a Dangerous Criminal.

Police Officer Maribeth Diaz of the Midtown South Pct. is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant and Quick-Thinking Action Taken to Defend Her Life and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders and to Apprehend a Knife-Wielding Emotionally Disturbed Person Who Had Stabbed Three People in a Busy Public Square.

Police Officer Marie Frawley of the Legal Bureau is named the Finest of the Finest for and Extremely Brave and Humanitarian Deed Performed at Great Self-Sacrifice in Donating Her Kidney to a Woman She Did Not Know, Thereby Saving the Woman’s Life.

Police Officers Daniel F. Ulsaner and Ashley Ashton of the 120 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant and Resourceful Action Taken to Disarm a Dangerous and Trigger-Happy Suspect Without Firing Their Own Weapons.

Police Officers Joselito Chaparro and Russell L. John of the 81 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken at Great Risk to Their Own Lives to Rescue Four Children From a Burning Building.

Police Officers David S. Pralgo and Kevin P. Phelan of the 75 Pct. 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 and Exchange of Gunfire With Armed Robbers.

Police Officers Brian D. Brown and Richard Banks of the 70 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant, Quick-Thinking and Resourceful Action Taken to Safeguard the Lives of Victims and Bystanders in the Aftermath of a Helicopter Crash on the Roof of a Two-Story Residential Building.

Police Officers William Schub, William Klein, Brendan Galligan, Francis Vitale and Michael Egan of the Aviation Unit are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant, Resourceful and Expert Action Taken Under Dangerous Conditions to Rescue Victims Stranded at Sea After Their Boat Sank.

Police Officer Margaret Zaffarese of the 115 Pct. is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend Her Life in a Struggle and an Exchange of Gunfire With a Trio of Burglars.

Police Officers Gilbert Altreche, Mark J. Cooper and Gregory S. Damato of the 115 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Quick-Thinking Action Taken While Off Duty to Apprehend Two Suspects for Robbery and Impersonation of a Police Officer.

Police Officers Michael Hance and Michael Ward of the 105 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Quick-Thinking, Heroic and Professional Action Taken to Save the Life of a 13-Month-Old Boy Who Had Been Choking to Death Because of an Obstruction in His Windpipe.

Police Officer Sean Abrams, Highway #3 is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken in an Exchange of Gunfire With Two Suspects, Leading to Their Apprehension.

Police Officer Heriberto Crespo and Sgt. Daniel Munzo of the Transit Bronx Task Force 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 an Exchange of Gunfire With a Dangerous Suspect.

Police Officer Marko Mibailovich of Transit District #2 is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life, the Life of a Fellow Police Officer and the Lives of Innocent Bystanders in a Confrontation With an Armed Fugitive.

Police Officers John McSweeney and Sgt. Patrick Devlin of PSA #9 and Police Officers Wayne Kendall and William Scheffler of the 114 Pct. 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 With a Dangerous Felon.

Congratulations.

 

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