Deceased Police Officer Russell Timoshenko, his wounded hero partner P.O.Herman Yan and P.O.Gregory Chin who saved the life of an elderly woman being attacked with a carving knife are among the 39 hero police officers honored today (Wednesday, Jan. 31) by their peers at the PBA’s “Finest of the Finest” award ceremony.
The event was held at Manhattan¹s Water Club, 30th St. and East River Drive.
The event¹s honorees — who received a commemorative plaque and an elaborate luncheon for them and their families — were praised by PBA President Patrick J. Lynch.
“Our officers are formally recognized for their achievements — and deservedly so — by many agencies and institutions, including the NYPD, the mayor¹s office and other public and private entities. But none of the other awards mean as much to them, and to the PBA, as these. And that¹s because, as I say so often, they have earned these awards in the judgment of their peers other police officers. This makes them special.”
The following is a list of all the honorees and descriptions of the incidents for which they were honored.
P.O.s Annemarie Marchiondo, Diana Lugo and Jose Santana of TD-11 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 Murderous Assailant.
On plainclothes patrol on the #4 train in the Bronx, these officers stopped three men who were who walking from one car into another for violating the “unsafe riding” rules. While the officers were collecting information from the violators so they could issue summonses, one of the men got into a violent struggle with Officer Marchiondo. The suspect got the officer in a headlock and pointed a loaded 45-caliber handgun at her head. When the suspect pointed the gun at the other officers, Officer Marchiondo managed to escape the suspect¹s grip, and a gunfight broke out. At the end of the battle, Officer Marchiondo had suffered three gunshot wounds and the suspect was D.O.A.
P.O. Gregory Chin of TD-3 is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken While Off Duty to Defend His Life and to Save the Lives of Innocent Victims in a Confrontation With a Perpetrator Armed With a Carving Knife.
The suspect in this incident had already slashed a restaurant chef with a carving knife. He was on the street and doing the same to a 67-year-old woman who was just walking her dog when Officer Chin, off duty, came on the scene. This officer, identifying himself and shouting instructions to drop the weapon, tried to end the encounter peacefully, but when the suspect came at him with the knife, he stopped the threat with one bullet from his department-authorized firearm.
P.O.s Scott McKenna and Sgt. Sean Lynskey of PSA#5 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 Murderous Assailant.
When these officers encountered the suspect in a shooting, his gun was drawn and he had already fatally shot one victim and wounded two innocent bystanders. “Get on the ground, drop the gun, drop the gun,” the officers commanded. He didn¹t comply until the officers stopped him with their Glocks. The suspect was wounded but survived to pay for his crime.
P.O.s Philip Roy, Keith Adamiszyn, Brian McCloskey and Edilio Cruz of the 109 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Resourceful Action Taken to Apprehend Four Home-Invading Armed Robbers.
The four suspects in this incident had just committed a home-invasion robbery in which they were escaping with money, jewels and other property when these officers got to the scene. The suspects tried to escape through a rear second-floor-bedroom window but were apprehended by these quick-thinking cops, who had to physically subdue the suspects before making the arrests.
P.O.s Michael Sinner, Meliza Meade, Paul Sorocco, Joseph Cappelman and Daniel Schmelter of the 102 Pct. and P.O.s George Bodenmiller and Michael Hayes of the Queens South Task Force 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 an Armed Robber.
These officers were responding to a gunpoint robbery committed by three suspects. They quickly apprehended two of them but the third one, riding a bike and armed, proved a little more elusive. After a chase, an exchange of gunfire, and a game of hide-and-seek, they cornered the suspect, who abandoned his weapon only after it had misfired a couple of times. They wrestled him to the ground and took him into custody.
P.O.s John Schmitt and Rebecca Asman of the 113 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Lives and the Life of a Fellow Police Officer in an Exchange of Gunfire With a Perpetrator.
While in uniform and on routine foot patrol, these officers heard gunshots and rushed to the scene. They observed the gunman firing in a direction opposite to their approach. The gunman then turned toward them. Ignoring commands to drop the weapon, he fired once at them and Officer Schmitt fired once in reply. The officers then chased the gunman up the street and when they were closing in on him, he wised up and dropped his weapon. They arrested him without further incident and with no one getting hurt.
P.O.s Michael Welsh and Christopher Scott of the 48 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Resourceful Action Taken Without Regard for Their Own Safety to Rescue Twelve People From Burning Buildings.
With flaming debris raining down on them, these officers rushed into a burning building, calling out to alert residents, kicking down doors and leading people to safety. No sooner had they rescued all those in danger in one building, than did they do the same in the building next door. In all, they rescued a dozen potential victims, including two infants.
P.O. Silverio Calisi of the 49 Pct. is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken to Defend His Life and the Lives of Innocent Civilians in a Violent Confrontation With an Axe-Wielding Assailant.
This officer was one of many called to the scene where an EDP was behind a locked door in a sixth-floor apartment. He had been heard threatening to take the life of his son and was observed waving an axe over his head. While ESU cops were attempting to enter the apartment, Officer Calisi was stationed in an apartment on the floor below to guard against the suspect fleeing down the fire escape. Sure enough, the EDP and his axe got out through his bedroom window and onto the fire escape and came at the officer with the deadly weapon. Officer Calisi discharged one round, stopping the threat. The EDP was DOA at the hospital.
P.O.s Robert Tejada, Jorge Tobon, Brian Cregan and John Anzelino of the 25 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 a Confrontation With an Armed Assailant.
Responding to confidential information about a man with a gun, these officers proceeded to a cafe where the gunman was located. With their shields displayed, they attempted to pat down the suspect, who resisted. The suspect drew his weapon and fired, striking Officer Tejada twice. In defense of their lives and the lives of their fellow officers, they returned fire and stopped the threat. The suspect died at the hospital.
P.O.s Erik Merizalde and Rory Mangra of the 78 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 and in Apprehending an Armed Perpetrator.
While on motor patrol, these officers observed two men, one of whom appeared to be smoking a joint. As Officer Mangra got out of the car and approached the pair, one of them started to run. Officer Mangra chased on foot and Officer Merizalde cut the fugitive off with the RMP. Officer Mangra struggled with the suspect, who produced a handgun and shot the officer in the right foot. When Officer Merizalde saw the suspect try to point the gun at his partner again, he knocked the weapon out of the suspect¹s hand and both cops subdued and apprehended the gunman.
P.O. Russell Timoshenko of the 71 Pct. is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave, Valiant and Selfless Action Above and Beyond the Call of Duty in Making the Supreme Sacrifice for the Citizens of New York City; and his partner, P.O. Herman Yan of the 71 Pct., is named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Valiant Action Taken While Being Wounded in That Incident and Taking Action That Led to the Apprehension of a Murderer Who Had Taken the Life of a Fellow Police Officer.
These officers were the victims of a highly-publicized and cowardly attack at a suspicious car-stop. Officer Timoshenko sacrificed his life and Officer Yan was seriously wounded by the gunman in the vehicle, who opened fire without warning as they approached. Despite his wounds, Officer Yan was able to return 14 rounds and to provide enough information about the fugitive suspects to lead to their apprehension.
P.O.s Kenneth Avila, Juan Gonzalez, Daniel Mallick, William Ruiz and Jonathan Wilds of the 77 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 and Innocent Civilians in an Exchange of Gunfire With a Crazed and Murderous Car-Jacker.
Crazed after being dumped by his girlfriend, the perpetrator in this incident hijacked a car, pumped two bullets into his girlfriend’s front door, crashed the hijacked car into the front of an unoccupied store, and then tried to hijack another car at gunpoint. When the second motorist fled, he shot at the car, missed and hit an innocent bystander in the arm. Then he succeeded in hijacking another car and crashing it into a lamppost. When these officers got to the scene, the suspect was leaning over the hood of a parked car aiming his gun in a combat position. They struggled with him in an attempt to disarm him, but were finally compelled to respond to his armed threat with gunfire. He was DOA at Kings County Hospital.
P.O.s Michael Tavolario and Brian McIvor 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 and an Innocent Civilian in a Confrontation With an Armed Assailant.
This incident involved a domestic dispute in which an enraged husband showed up with an armed friend or two, apparently seeking to make trouble for his wife. When the husband pulled up in a Ford Explorer, parking outside the wife¹s location, the wife’s sister’s boyfriend was waiting with the cops. One of the men fired a shot at the witness, not realizing that the officers were close by. They identified themselves and yelled, “Police, don¹t move,” but he pointed his gun at them. Both officers opened fire, hitting the gunman several times. He ended up in the hospital with non-life-threatening wounds.
P.O.s George Aguilar and Eric Loria of the 122 Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Brave and Resourceful Action Taken to Apprehend the Robbers of a Gas Station.
In response to a radio call about two men fleeing in a blue Volvo after committing a gas station stickup, these officers began a motor search of the Staten Island Expressway. They spotted a car fitting the description on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and were able to pull the suspect car over without further incident. From the two men in the car, both of whom had felony records, they recovered the cash taken from the gas station and an imitation pistol. The perps were positively identified and locked up.
P.O.s Keith Gallagher and William Svenstrup of the 9th Pct. are named the Finest of the Finest for Extremely Compassionate, Quick-Thinking and Resourceful Action Taken to Save the Life of a 21-Month-Old Girl Who Had Stopped Breathing and Was on the Brink of Death.
Her name was Jay Lyn Arroyo, she was 21 months old and she was turning blue in her mother¹s arms. She was unconscious and had no pulse. That was the situation that confronted these officers when they encountered the panicked mother and stricken child on an East Village Street. The officers acted swiftly. With the mother in the front passenger seat, Officer Svenstrup gunned the RMP, lights and sirens blaring, in the direction of the nearest hospital while Officer Gallagher performed CPR on the baby in the back seat. It was his first time administering CPR. And it worked. Little Jay sputtered her first breaths before they reached the hospital and a team of waiting doctors did the rest.