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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
Contact: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2008

State Police Troopers from

TroopS C, D, E and K

Receive Service Awards

   State Police Troopers from Troop C in Tolland, Troop D in Danielson, Troop E in Montville and Trooper K in Colchester received awards for service during a ceremony on November 14 at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden.

   Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrate bravery and outstanding service in the line of duty.  The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies, those serving as first responders and civilians.  Award winners received medals and certificates from Department of Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III and State Police Colonel Thomas Davoren.

   Awards were presented in four categories:

Ø      The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any person who renders service with a high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task resulting in the protection of life, recovery of property, the prevention of – or solving of – a major crime or the apprehension of an armed or dangerous person.

Ø      The Lifesaving Award is presented to any person who saves a human life or makes a valiant attempt to save a life.

Ø      The Outstanding Service Award is given to any person who successfully performs an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The person also may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and or continuously achieves excellence in performance of duties over an extended period of time.

Ø      The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.

Awards were presented to:

Trooper First Class Martin Graham and Trooper Timothy Brink, Troop D  
   
On April 7, 2008, Trooper Graham and Trooper Brink were dispatched to an apartment building in Killingly for a report of a despondent male walking about in a threatening manner, inflicting damage to the building.  Troopers Graham and Brink attempted to locate the male at his apartment with no success. 

   The Troopers began a search of the remaining floors when they heard yelling and screaming coming from the second floor area.  Trooper Graham arrived on the second floor and observed the man in the hallway with a knife wrapped in his hand with a rag and acting irrationally.  Several times, Trooper Graham ordered him to drop the knife, but the man refused and began making slashing motions with the knife towards Trooper Graham.  The man then attempted to flee into his apartment at which time Trooper Graham and Trooper Brink pursued him.

   As the man backed into the apartment and continued waving the knife frantically while yelling at both Troppers, Trooper Brink verbally warned him to drop the knife.  The man continued to refuse the Troopers’ commands and the Taser was deployed.  After a brief struggle, the man was handcuffed and taken into custody. 

   Troopers Graham and Brink earned Meritorious Awards.

Det. Richard Bedard, Det. Scott Ignazio, Sgt. William Griffin of the State Police Casino Unit; Trooper Noah Gouveia, of Troop E; Foxwoods Senior Security Director Russ Adams, Foxwoods Operations Director Kevin Hodge, Foxwoods Surveillance Unit  

   On June 4, 2008, a violent, suicidal felon sexually assaulted a female victim. The accused was armed with a handgun and fled Massachusetts.  A radio message was sent to available patrol Troopers that he was en route to Foxwoods Casino. 

   Off-duty Trooper Gouveia spotted the vehicle and, with family members in his vehicle, he tracked and confirmed the vehicle’s movements and alerted Troop E. Trooper Gouveia noted which garage the suspect entered, allowing surveillance at Foxwoods to begin to track his movements. 

   In his haste, the suspect left his weapon in his vehicle.  The casino was crowded with thousands of patrons, complicating rapid surveillance and the tracking of one individual.  Utilizing the skilled expertise of Foxwoods Surveillance personnel, the area was flooded by law enforcement and security personnel to contain the fleeing felon and to minimize the level of danger to unsuspecting patrons.

   Foxwoods Operations Director Hodges responded and was assisted by Security Director Adams. They were able to shadow the accused’s movements.  State Police personnel assigned to the Casino Unit also responded to the area immediately. Sgt. Griffin, Det. Bedard and Det. Ignazio were able to locate the accused, contain his movements and arrest him on a heavily populated gaming floor without incident.  During an interview following his arrest, the accused indicated his intentions were to commit violence inside the facility and ultimately suicide.

   Det. Richard Bedard, Det. Scott Ignazio, Sgt. William Griffin, Trooper Noah Gouveia earned Meritorious Service Awards; Hodge, Adams and the Surveillance Unit earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

Det. Michael Hoagland of the Eastern District Major Crime Squad; East Lyme Police Officer Kenneth Mellor, East Lyme Police Detective Donald Marr, East Lyme Police Officer Jean Cavanaugh  

   During the months of April and May 2008, the Town of East Lyme experienced a large number of residential and commercial burglaries, as well as the armed robbery of a convenience store.  Detectives from Troop E and the East Lyme Resident Trooper’s Office, as well as East Lyme Patrol Officers, worked together to develop suspects in these crimes. 

   On May 23, 2008, East Lyme Officers Mellor and Cavanaugh spotted a vehicle driven by an individual identified as a “person of interest” in these crimes.  They conducted a motor vehicle stop of the operator and arrested him for a suspended license.  A search yielded items used in the commission of the armed robbery.       

   Det. Hoagland and Sgt. Bundy from the Troop E Criminal Investigative Unit as well as East Lyme Detective Marr responded to the scene of the motor vehicle stop.  Det. Marr interviewed a passenger in the suspect’s vehicle and obtained information linking the driver to three armed robberies and two nighttime commercial burglaries. 

   Det. Hoagland interviewed the suspect and he confessed to the armed robbery of the convenience store and the nighttime burglaries of two other establishments.  The suspect also confessed to two armed robberies in New London and Waterford. 

   All involved earned awards for Meritorious Service.

Trooper First Class Scott Crevier and Trooper First Class James O’Donnell, Troop C

   During the evening of May 2, 2008, a loaded handgun was stolen from a vehicle parked at Eastern Connecticut State University.

   Trooper Crevier and Trooper O’Donnell assisted in the search for a suspect. Troopers Crevier and O’Donnell observed an individual walking on a Willimantic street with his right arm stiff against his side, as though concealing something under his shirt. The troopers engaged the individual in conversation, noticing a large bulge under his shirt.

   When the Troopers attempted to pat-down the suspect for weapons, a struggle ensued. The Troopers were able to subdue and disarm the suspect without incident.

   Troopers Crevier and O’Donnell earned awards for Meritorious Service.

Trooper Howard Smith and Trooper Matt Siart, Troop D  

   Trooper Smith and Trooper Siart responded to a residence in the Town of Thompson to meet a person concerned about a male friend who did not show up for work as he normally does.  Upon arrival at the home, the Troopers found the man’s car parked in his driveway.  The Troopers made a cursory search of the property and interviewed neighbors.

   Finding the doors to the house locked and unable to obtain a response, the Troopers located a ladder and used it to look through a window, where Trooper Smith could see the victim on the bedroom floor.

   The Troopers immediately forced entry and summoned medical services.  They recovered an empty bottle of sleeping pills and a suicide note. The victim made a complete recovery after a stay in the hospital.

   Troopers Smith and Siart earned awards for Lifesaving.

Trooper First Class Lawrence Slyman, Troop K  

   On April 27, 2008, Trooper Slyman was off-duty with his family attending services at a Manchester church. 

   Outside of the church, a parishioner was pushing her son towards Trooper Slyman shouting “Heimlich, Heimlich.”  The boy was cyanotic and unable to breathe.  Trooper Slyman immediately realized the boy was choking and began to perform rescue efforts on the seven-year-old. 

   While doing so, he instructed a bystander to call 911. He continued rescue efforts and then inquired a   bout the status of EMS.  When he learned that the bystander never called 911, he called 911 himself to initiate an emergency response and then resumed emergency care.  He delivered several back blows to the boy, which dislodged the object and the boy began to breathe.  The boy made a full recovery. 

   Trooper Slyman earned an award for Lifesaving.

   

Trooper David Bennett, Troop D  

   On June 18, 2008, Trooper Bennett was assigned to the desk at Troop D.  That day, a man was taken into custody for a domestic dispute and was transported to Troop D where he was processed and held on a bond.

   While awaiting transfer, the subject removed his t-shirt and configured a knot.  He tied the shirt to the cell block bars and configured a noose at the other end to slip over his head around his neck.  Trooper Bennett observed the man on the cell block monitors, secured his duty weapon and immediately responded to the cell block. 

   As Trooper Bennett was opening the cell door, the subject momentarily froze in his actions, allowing the Trooper time to remove the noose from the man’s neck.  Trooper Bennett placed the man in restraints to prevent further harm.

   Trooper Bennett earned an award for Lifesaving.

Trooper First Class William L. Kuckel, Jr., Troop D 

   On July 2, 2008, at approximately 2:42 p.m., Trooper Kuckel along with other personnel from Troop D, were dispatched to a serious two-car head-on accident on Route 101 in the town of Killingly. 

   Upon arrival, Trooper Kuckel assessed the scene for the extent of injuries and found seven injured parties requiring immediate treatment and transport. One of the parties located by Trooper Kuckel was an elderly female still restrained in the front seat by a lap and shoulder belt. She was unresponsive and had no pulse.

   Trooper Kuckel immediately entered the vehicle and commenced CPR on the elderly victim. He continued performing CPR until he was relieved by EMS personnel, but still assisted until she was extricated from the vehicle and removed to a waiting ambulance. Despite the valiant efforts of Trooper Kuckel to sustain the life of the woman, she later succumbed to her injuries.

   Trooper Kuckel earned an award for Lifesaving.

Trooper Joyes Narcisse, Trooper Kevin Moore of Troop K; Civilian Nancy Farr 

   On August 26, 2008, Troop K received a 911 call from a concerned female caller, Nancy Farr, who stated that her male friend was making suicidal statements.  Ms. Farr drove to the man’s house and found him in the basement with a rope around his neck.  She talked with the man until Trooper Joyes Narcisse and Trooper Kevin Moore were dispatched to the suicidal man’s residence. Upon arrival, the Troopers entered an open basement door and found Ms. Farr crying for help and a male prepared to take his own life. 

   As Troopers approached, the man attempted to hang himself.  Trooper Narcisse immediately lifted the man, removing pressure from his neck while Trooper Moore cut the rope.  The distraught male lost consciousness during this event and Troopers were able to revive him and restrain him until EMS arrived and transported him to a local hospital for emergency care.

   Trooper Narcisse and Moore earned Lifesaving Awards; Ms. Farr earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Trooper First Class Ronald Turner, Troop K

   On June 25, 2008, Trooper Turner was dispatched to Boston Turnpike for a despondent individual.  When he arrived, the complainant stated that she had just terminated one of her employees.  Upon receiving this news, the employee became very distraught and exited the building.  The complainant observed the terminated employee cutting her wrists.  The complainant approached the employee’s vehicle and observed her bleeding heavily from her wrist.  The complainant called out for someone to dial 911 and when the victim heard this, she fled from the vehicle on foot in an unknown direction.

Trooper Turner began to search the immediate area and drove to a nearby cemetery. Within minutes, he located the victim in the cemetery in a nearly unconscious state, bleeding profusely from her wrist. 

   He immediately applied direct pressure to her wounds and directed responding medical services to his location.  EMS responded, found the victim in critical condition and arranged for a rapid transport.  The victim made a full recovery.

   Trooper Turner earned an award for Lifesaving.

Trooper Scott Crevier, Trooper Jamie Sanders and Trooper First Class Patrick Mulcahy, Troop C

   During February 2008, Troopers at Troop C investigated a series of residential burglaries in the towns of Tolland, Union, Stafford, Ashford and Willington.  On February 8, 2008, Trooper Sanders was dispatched to investigate a residential burglary in Willington.  During his investigation, he conducted an extensive neighborhood canvas from which he developed a description of a vehicle that was seen in the neighborhood, bearing Maine registration plates. Trooper Sanders forwarded this information to his fellow Troopers at roll call.

   Using this information, Tolland Resident Trooper Crevier began to canvass area motels along I-84.  On February 13, 2008, he located a vehicle matching the description at a motel in Ashford. Trooper Crevier checked the motel registry and discovered that a fugitive from justice from the state of Maine and a female companion were registered at the motel. Trooper Crevier and Trooper Mulcahy took the fugitive into custody, executed a search warrant on his vehicle and recovered thousands of dollars worth of property from homes that had been burglarized in Connecticut and Maine.

   On his own initiative, Trooper Mulcahy conducted a “garbage pull” at the motel and recovered additional stolen jewelry.   According to Maine Police, the fugitive was suspected of burglarizing hundreds of residences in Maine and had engaged in at least three pursuits to elude capture.  The two suspects have been linked to at least a dozen residential burglaries in the Troop C area and at least two in Maine.

   Troopers Crevier, Mulcahy and Sanders earned awards for Outstanding Service.

Trooper First Class Robert Corradi, Troop D  

   On January 9, 2008, Trooper Corradi was assigned to a burglary investigation in the town of Killingly.

   Stolen from the home were cash, jewelry, computers and DVDs, totaling more than $10,000 in losses.  His investigation revealed that a young man sold some DVDs at a local retail store, DVDs which were similar to those stolen in the burglary. Trooper Corradi learned from whom he got the DVDs and the type of vehicle he drove. 

   On January 11, Trooper Corradi heard another Trooper radio a disabled vehicle that required towing. He realized it was the vehicle used in the burglary, so he applied for and received a search and seizure warrant for the vehicle, which yielded most of the items from this crime. Adhering to good interview and interrogation techniques, he was able to recover an additional laptop computer in spite of very little cooperation from the suspects or their families.  He obtained confessions, recovered most of the stolen items and made seven arrests for numerous charges.

   Trooper Corradi earned awards for Outstanding Service.

Trooper First Class Steven Bellandese, Trooper First Class Jack Samataro, Troop K

   On July 26, 2008, at 2:42 p.m., Trooper Bellandese responded to a reported domestic dispute in Salem.  The 911 caller reported hearing his neighbor yelling at his wife and then began to drive erratically on the roadway of the residential area, swearing out the window of his vehicle. 

   Trooper Bellandese intercepted the vehicle on Route 354.  Upon speaking with the operator, Trooper Bellandese heard the man say, “Call for your back up.”  The man tried to move into the passenger side of his vehicle, stating he had to retrieve his wallet. Trooper Bellandese physically prevented him from doing so and the man subsequently attacked the trooper and began fighting with him, at one point attempting to take his side arm. 

   Trooper Samataro arrived on the scene and he too was assaulted.  Troopers Bellandese and Samataro successfully deployed a cap-stun and took the man into custody.  An investigation revealed that the man was addicted to prescription pain medication and had earlier strangled his wife to the point that she was losing consciousness.  A search of the man’s vehicle revealed a six-inch double edge bayonet on the passenger seat. 

   Troopers Bellandese and Samataro earned Outstanding Service Awards.

Sergeant William Aulerich and Detective Richard Bedard of the State Police Casino Unit;  Senior Investigator Jeff DeClerck of the Mashantucket Inspector General’s Office  

   The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Office of the Inspector General, the Foxwoods Security Unit and gaming entities complained to the Connecticut State Police Casino Unit that they had video evidence of dealer-patron collusion and cheating at their casino in the craps games held there.

   Senior Investigator DeClerck of the Inspector General’s Office worked closely with State Police personnel to transfer administrative data and raw footage to begin a pro-active investigation. 

Sgt. Aulerich began to coordinate and direct the overall investigation. Working closely with Tribal authorities, casino security, the New London State’s Attorneys office and casino management, he began interview & investigative assignments and coordination for an extensive, sensitive and extremely high profile investigation.

   Det. Bedard was assigned as the lead investigator and began to collect evidence, conduct interviews and identify involved and uninvolved parties.

   These collective efforts led to an extensive and detailed investigation of operations leading to the drafting of a 32-page arrest warrant affidavit for thirteen individuals. The detail and quality of the work done by these three investigators was recognized within Tribal and law enforcement circles and within the casino industry itself for its thoroughness.

   Collectively, the actions of Investigator DeClerck, Sgt. Aulerich and Det. Bedard shut down a cheating scheme that netted tens of thousands of dollars in fraudulently-obtained gaming receipts and led to the arrest of parties involved in a brazen scheme. This investigation required a high volume of interviews, detailed review of testimony, footage and administrative documentation and review.

Det. Bedard, Sgt. Aulerich and Investigator DeClerck earned awards for Outstanding Service.

Civilians James Wrobel, Lauren Mancini Averitt, Raymond Averitt and Laura Murray  

   On May 3, 2008, Trooper First Class Craig Murray was camping with his family in the Town of Ashford.  At approximately 6 a.m., Trooper Murray suffered a heart attack which caused him to become unresponsive and lose a pulse. 

Prior to the arrival of an EMS crew, Trooper Murray’s wife, Laura, began CPR.  Neighboring campers    James Wrobel, Lauren Mancini Averitt and Raymond Averitt responded to Trooper Murray’s location and aided in conducting CPR on him.  The four continued a valiant attempt to save Trooper Murray’s life until EMS arrived. 

   Trooper Murray was transported to a local hospital by the Ashford Fire Department.  Sadly, Trooper Murray was unable to regain consciousness and survive his medical condition despite a tremendous effort by all to revive him. 

   Laura Murray, James Wrobel, Lauren Mancini Averitt and Raymond Averitt earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards for their efforts.

Civilian Jeffrey Leonard  

   On August 3, 2008, while traveling in his motor vehicle on Main Street in the town of Danielson, Jeffrey Leonard observed a two-year-old child walking along a window ledge approximately twenty feet above the ground. 

   Mr. Leonard, without fear or concern for his own safety, immediately pulled his vehicle to the side of the road and attempted to get the young child to safety by talking to him and instructing him to hold on to the ledge. The child lost his balance, fell onto a metal canopy and then head first towards the ground. 

   Miraculously, Mr. Leonard caught the child by his feet before the child struck the ground.  Had Mr. Leonard not been there, the child most certainly would have suffered life-threatening injuries.

   Jeffrey Leonard earned the Commissioner’s Recognition Award for his efforts.

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