As a wave of violent crime is overwhelming New York City and as police officers themselves are being subjected to life-threatening and unpunished assaults, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pro-criminal parole board has seen fit to release two more cop-killers in the near future.
That will make four cop-killers released in the last three months and a total of 14 in the last two-and-a-half years.
The hero families of slain New York City police officers Michael Russell and Robert Sorrentino recently received the devastating news that their loved ones’ killers are being freed in the coming weeks. These are the latest in an alarming and incomprehensible trend that accelerated in April of 2018 with the release of one of the most infamous cop-killers of the last half century – Herman Bell, one of the two Black Panthers who staged the brutal and politically-motivated ambush assassinations of New York City Police Officers Joseph Piagentini, 23, and Waverly Jones, 33, in May of 1971
And now the disturbing rash of cop-killer paroles continues.
Sergio Voii, serving a 32-years-to-life term, is one of the latest about to be sprung by Gov. Cuomo’s appointees to State Board of Parole. On the afternoon of Aug. 2, 1979, Voii intruded on a softball game between members of the community and off-duty cops from the 75 Pct. Edward Brugman, a local businessman who was playing third base, objected to the intrusion and, in response, Voii pulled a gun and shot Brugman to death. P.O. Russell, at bat and unarmed, chased the gunman, cornered him, and then was shot to death as well. He was 30 years old and left a wife, a three-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son.
Officer Russell’s widow, Grace Russell, learned of her husband’s killer’s impending release only last week. “ I just don’t understand it,” she says. “How is it that someone can be heartless enough to murder two unarmed people and then later be able to go back into society and resume a life of freedom, a life he callously took from two others? What’s the rationale? Where is the justice?” Her children are angry, she says.
The other cop-killer soon to be released is Russell Carroll, a career criminal who was one of four robbery suspects being pursued by P.O. Sorrentino and his partner on April 10, 1980. The suspects split up during the chase and so did the cops. Officer Sorrentino’s partner captured one of the suspects only to hear shots. He ran to the scene where he found P.O. Sorrentino suffering from gunshot wounds. The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds two weeks later. All four suspects were eventually apprehended and sentenced on 106 counts of murder, robbery and weapons possession. Three of them have since died in prison.
Officer Sorrentino’s sister Edna Doyle, reacted to the news that her brother’s killer is being paroled with sorrow and outrage: “After going through the agony of nine parole hearings over the years, we now have to learn this. I guess they feel that our suffering is over. But we think of Bob every day. There will be no parole for him – and no relief for his family.”
PBA President Patrick J. Lynch said: “Led by the governor, Albany lawmakers have pushed through a pro-criminal agenda that swings open prison gates for killers of the worst kind, those who kill police officers, killers who undermine the very fabric of a civilized society. This violates everything law-abiding citizens stand for: keeping our streets safe, respecting the sacrifice of police families, and sending a strong message to criminals that killing police officers will never be tolerated. Instead, Cuomo and company are allowing these dangerous killers once again to roam the neighborhoods where they committed these senseless acts of depravity against our brothers and sisters and the citizens we protect.”
Anthony Bottom, Herman Bell’s fellow killer of Piagentino and Jones, has appealed the parole board’s denial last year of his release and is also scheduled for another parole hearing in September. It would be another miscarriage of justice if he is allowed to join the shameful catalog of paroled cop-killers listed below:
John Ruzas - RELEASED 12/18/17
Killer of Trooper Emerson Dillon
Herman Bell - RELEASED 4/27/18
Killer of P.O. Joseph Piagentini & P.O. Waverly Jones
Carlos Flores - RELEASED 4/27/18
Killer of P.O. Robert Walsh
Robert Hayes - RELEASED 7/24/18
Killer of P.O. Sidney Thompson
Demetrius Bennet - RELEASED 10/24/18
Killer of P.O. Ray Cannon
Judith Clark – RELEASED 5/15/19
Killer of Sgt. Edward O’Grady, P.O. Waverly Brown & Peter Paige
Larry Johnson - RELEASED 5/15/19
Killer of P.O. Anthony Abruzzo
Betsy Ramos – RELEASED 12/10/19
Killer of P.O. Anthony Mosomillo
Ernest Alston – RELEASED 12/26/19
Killer of P.O. Melvin Hopkins
Orlando Puente – RELEASED 1/6/20
Killer of Lt. Jan Brinkers
Steven Chirse – RELEASED 4/21/20
Killer of P.O. Angelo Brown
Karl Dean – RELEASED 5/21/20
Killer of Det. Joseph Taylor
Russell Carroll – WILL BE RELEASED
Killer of P.O. Robert Sorrentino
Sergio Voii – WILL BE RELEASED
Killer of P.O. Michael Russell