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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2009
                               
                                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 Troop K in Colchester received awards for service during a ceremony May 18 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:

First Class Jeffrey Rhoades and K-9 Argo of Troop K;  Detective Mark Devine, Detective Michael Robinson; Troopers from Troop D, Troop E, Troop K, Eastern District Major Crime Squad; Officer from Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Plainfield Police Department, Dispatchers Justine Gendreau and Justin Bousquet    On Jan. 23, 2009, at 10:45 a.m., Troop D received a robbery alarm from a bank in Canterbury.  Troopers from Troop D, along with Trooper Rhoades and his K-9 Argo from Troop K, responded to the bank.

Troopers learned that two armed, masked suspects entered the bank and demanded money from the tellers.  The suspects fled from the bank and ran across the street into a wooded area with an undetermined amount of money.  Trooper Rhoades and K-9 Argo immediately began a track, which began at a set of footprints in the snow.

K-9 Argo followed a scent trail from these footprints leading to a trail and fresh snowmobile tracks.  K-9 Argo pulled strongly towards the snowmobile tracks out of the woods and into a corn field, where more tracks were located.  The canine continued to pull through a junkyard and to a residence where a parked snowmobile was discovered.  The engine on the vehicle was still warm. 

The residence was secured and an investigation ultimately led to the identity of a teenage suspect who lived at the home. Detectives Robinson and Devine located a close friend of the suspect, interviewed him, confronted him with discrepancies in his story and obtained a confession implicating the friend and the teenage suspect in the crime.

Detectives conducted follow-up interviews that led to recovering evidence from several locations in Plainfield and the vicinity, including the weapons used in the robbery and most of the stolen money. Through skilled interview and investigative abilities, as well as the teamwork of Detectives Robinson and Devine and other major crime detectives, five arrests were made.

Trooper Rhoades earned a Meritorious Service Award; Detectives Devine and Robinson earned Outstanding Service Awards; Troops D, E and K, the Eastern District Major Crime Squad, DEP police and Plainfield Police earned Unit Citation Awards and the dispatchers earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

Stafford Police Sergeant James Desso, West Stafford Fire Chief Joseph Lorenzetti, Somers Volunteer Firefighters Greg Smith and Dawud Sabater, civilians Shawn Costello, Craig Ludwig and Meredith Randall    On July 8, 2008, at 11:58 a.m., Troop C received a 911 call regarding a one-vehicle crash into a utility pole in Stafford. The vehicle rolled onto its passenger side and was on fire, pinning the operator inside. The vehicle came to a rest in a steep area with a stream. The location, in addition to the broken utility pole, hampered rescue efforts.

Civilians Costello, Ludwig and Randall attempted to extricate the elderly female operator from the overturned vehicle as black smoke and flames started to enter the driver’s compartment from the engine area.  The weight of the operator on the seat belt and the radiant heat on the metal portion of the seat belt prevented the seatbelt from being released. Mr. Costello and Mr. Ludwig pushed the vehicle onto its wheels. The scene was deteriorating very quickly with thick black smoke and flames that became unbearable in and around the vehicle. 

Volunteer Firefighters Smith and Sabater arrived to assist with the extrication.  The elderly operator seemed confused as the flames and heat began to engulf the driver’s compartment and tires on the vehicle began to explode from the heat.  The operator’s feet were trapped in the driver’s compartment.  Fire Chief Lorenzetti and Sgt. Desso, arrived and assisted in removing the operator from the vehicle.  In the end, the vehicle was burned beyond recognition.

Sgt. Desso, Chief Lorenzetti and Firefighters Smith & Sabater earned Lifesaving Awards; Civilians Costello, Ludwig & Randall earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

Trooper Joshua Woodward – Troop C   On October 13, 2008, at approximately 8:24 p.m., Troop C in Tolland received a 911 call reporting a one-car motor vehicle accident in the town of Mansfield, with the possibility of a vehicle fire.

Trooper Woodward arrived on scene and located the operator, who was ejected from his motorcycle and suffering from serious injuries.  Trooper Woodward and Firefighter James York of the Mansfield Fire Department applied tourniquets to the victim’s legs to stop the severe bleeding. The operator was flown to a Hartford hospital in critical condition.

The timely response to this accident scene and the first-aid rendered to the operator ultimately saved the young man’s life. Trooper Woodward earned a Lifesaving Award.

East Lyme Sergeant Joseph San Juan and East Lyme Officer Larry Watson  On November 26, 2008, at 2:22 p.m., Trooper Patterson was off-duty and traveling in East Lyme when he observed a suspicious vehicle stopped partially in the roadway. 

Trooper Patterson observed an unresponsive male in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.  The male had grayish colored skin and blue lips and appeared to be deceased.  Trooper Patterson immediately contacted Troop E and requested assistance.  Sgt. San Juan and Officer Watson responded to the scene and forced access into the vehicle to assist the victim. 

Officer Watson was able to detect a faint pulse but the male was not breathing.  Laying the victim on the ground, Sgt. San Juan began rescue breathing and continued until EMS arrived on scene.  Emergency medical responders from the Flanders Fire Department placed the victim inside an ambulance, where he regained consciousness.  EMS Personnel noted that if not for the quick actions of the responding East Lyme Officers, the victim surely would have succumbed. 

Sgt. San Juan and Officer Watson earned Lifesaving Awards for their efforts.

Sergeant John Thompson, Trooper Kevin Cook, Trooper Carson Konow – Troop K    On Dec. 26, 2008, at 6:28 p.m., Sgt. Thompson and Trooper Cook were dispatched to Lebanon for a house fire in which occupants were trapped inside.

Prior to the Troopers’ arrival, the occupants escaped and were waiting at a neighbor’s home.  Sgt. Thompson and Trooper Cook made contact with the victims, a married couple.  While speaking with the couple, the Troopers witnessed the husband collapse and go into cardiac arrest.  Sgt. Thompson immediately advised the Troop and requested medical services.

Sgt. Thompson and Trooper Cook began CPR on the man.  Trooper Konow arrived a short time later and assisted with CPR.  All three continued with lifesaving activities.  The Troopers re-established a heartbeat on the man, who also resumed breathing. The man was then transported to a local hospital. 

Sgt. Thompson, Trooper Cook and Trooper Konow were presented with the Lifesaving Award.

Trooper Scott McCarthy and Trooper John Barrows, Troop C    On January 14, 2009, at 11:08 p.m., Troopers McCarthy and Barrows conducted a well-being check on a Tolland man. They were advised that the man had been in deteriorating health over the previous week and could not be reached by telephone. The Troopers entered the residence and found the man laying face down, unconscious and having extreme difficulty breathing.

Troopers McCarthy and Barrows positioned the man on his back and worked to maintain an open airway for him.  The Troopers requested EMS and continued to monitor the man’s vital signs.  He was only responsive to painful stimuli and had an extremely weak pulse.

As EMS arrived, Trooper McCarthy gathered the man’s medications while Trooper Barrows remained with the man to monitor vital signs.  The Troopers supplied EMS personnel with a detailed oral report of the man’s status and as much medical history as they could provide.

The man was transported to a local hospital and eventually made a complete recovery.  He apparently had suffered from a diabetic seizure and had dropped to the ground in such a way that he would have suffocated to death if it were not for the quick actions of Troopers McCarthy and Barrows. The Troopers received the Lifesaving Award.

Sergeant Christopher High and Montville Police Officer Gary Galdenzi, Troop E   On March 31, 2009, at 3:24 a.m., State Troopers from Troop E and Montville Police Officers were dispatched to an address in Montville for the report of a suicidal male who had barricaded himself in the basement of a residence. 

Upon arrival, the Troopers and Officers determined that the man had hammered the basement door shut from the inside, preventing or at least slowing down the entry of anyone trying to help him.  Through a basement window, State Troopers and Montville Officers observed the male hanging from one of the rafters supporting the ceiling.  They immediately forced their way into the basement and brought the man down from the rafter.  The man was unresponsive, not breathing and had no pulse. 

Sgt. High and Officer Galdenzi immediately began to administer CPR on the man and continued life saving efforts until they were able to re-establish his pulse and breathing.  EMS personnel arrived on scene and transported the man to a nearby hospital.  Sgt. High and Officer Galdenzi received Lifesaving Awards.

Trooper Brett Attmore – Troop C   On Nov.  22, 2008, Trooper Attmore was on patrol when he came across a two-car motor vehicle accident in which one of the vehicles was on fire.  He notified Troop C of the accident, requested fire services and informed the troop that he would take measures to extinguish the fire.

Trooper Attmore observed that the operator of the burning vehicle was injured and could not exit the vehicle.  Trooper Attmore used a fire extinguisher to douse the fire and when he did this, the fire appeared to go out.  While he reassured the driver and assessed his injuries, the vehicle caught fire again.  Trooper Attmore again utilized the fire extinguisher, but to no avail.  He observed fluids from the motor vehicle on the ground, surrounding the vehicle. 

Acting quickly, Trooper Attmore removed the operator from the vehicle.  He took the injured operator out of the burning vehicle and relocated him to a safe location.  After ensuring the safety of the operator, Trooper Attmore attempted to extinguish the fire again but to no avail.   He removed his jacket and placed it over the operator to keep him warm due to the cold temperatures.  He then checked on the two occupants from the other vehicle involved in the accident and determined that they suffered from minor injuries. 

Trooper Attmore received a Lifesaving Award.

Detective Daniel Cargill – Eastern District Major Crime Squad   On Jan. 23, 2008, two suspects – wearing masks, hoods and displaying handguns – entered a credit union in Stafford and demanded cash from the tellers and from the vault.  The suspects fled in a stolen vehicle.

Sgt. Jose Claudio was traveling on Route 190 and spotted the suspect vehicle on the same road.  Sgt. Claudio noted that the two men in the vehicle matched the description and began acting suspiciously upon seeing a State Police vehicle.  Sgt. Claudio, assisted by Trooper One, attempted to stop the suspect vehicle but again, the suspects fled.

The pursuit continued to Hartford, where the vehicle was involved in an accident.  One of the accused was tracked from the air by Trooper One and was apprehended by Troopers and Hartford Police. State Police personnel were able to recover stolen bank drawers and a large sum of cash. 

During the months that followed the robbery, Detective Cargill was persistent in digging for information and building a case.  On May 22, 2008, as a result of Det. Cargill’s complex investigation with local and federal authorities, a warrant was obtained for a second suspect from Manchester.

The suspects that Det. Cargill pursued were the core of a criminal enterprise that has been linked to a homicide in New Haven and as many as 15 bank robberies.  Det. Cargill earned an Outstanding Service Award.

Trooper Nathan Charron, Trooper Armand Sylvestre and Trooper First Class George Muriel – Troop E   During the late summer and into the fall of 2008, Troop E investigated a significant number of burglaries at residences, businesses and construction sites, including the theft of copper, jewelry, electronics and tools.  The majority of these crimes were occurring in the towns of Griswold and Voluntown, while some occurred in Plainfield in Troop D’s area.

Over several weeks, Troopers Charron, Sylvestre and Muriel conducted multiple interviews to develop leads.  After identifying several suspects, Troopers Charron and Sylvestre conducted surveillance on the residences of several suspects.  During the investigation, the Troopers located more than 200 pounds of copper in one suspect’s vehicle and in one suspect’s yard. 

Trooper Muriel interviewed one of the suspects who provided a written confession implicating himself and two others in multiple burglaries & larcenies and criminal mischief totaling more than $25,000 in stolen items and damage.  Trooper Muriel quickly arrested the three suspects, charging them with several of these felonies and obtaining written confessions from them.  More than 200 pounds of copper was recovered while stolen jewelry, electronics and tools were recovered from area pawnshops.  Information was developed that led to the arrests of eleven more individuals. 

The Troopers solved more than 24 burglaries – cases that included 21 counts of burglary, 18 counts of larceny and 18 counts of criminal mischief.  In addition, the individuals were charged with more than 35 narcotics violations which had a direct link to their crime spree.  The narcotics arrests ranged from operating a drug factory to possession of heroin, marijuana and PCP. 

Troopers Charron, Muiel and Sylvestre earned Outstanding Service Awards.

Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Leaming, State’s Attorney Investigator Dave Kenary, Detective Jay DelGrosso, Detective Daniel Deptula and Trooper Derrick Kasperowski – Eastern District Major Crime Squad    On Nov. 25, 2008, Eastern District Major Crime Squad Detectives initiated an investigation into a relationship between an adult male instructor at a magnet school in Willimantic and a teenage female student.  A volunteer at the school reported that the instructor had a relationship with the teenager in the school and in other locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Subsequent investigation found that the suspect and teenager were also engaging in lewd acts online.  The suspect was arrested and a judge released him on a cash bond.

Detectives learned that the suspect was still in contact with the teenager and was possibly planning to flee the country with her.  A surveillance operation was initiated, based on information developed by Attorney Leaming and Investigator Kenary of the State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Detectives DelGrosso, Deptula and Kasperowski observed the victim leave home on foot.  Moments later, they observed the suspect drive up to the victim as she walked along a road near her home.  The suspect made contact with the victim, an act strictly forbidden by the court and a condition of the suspect’s release. The suspect fled as detectives approached.  They ensured the safety of the victim and a short time later the suspect was taken into custody without incident.

The unified efforts of the State’s Attorney’s Office and State Police Detectives lead to the successful resolution of this case. All earned Outstanding Service Awards.

Detective Scott Crevier – Eastern District Major Crime Squad   On March 7, 2009, Troopers from Troop C and officers from the Town of Ellington responded to a burglary alarm at a convenience store in Ellington.  Troopers determined that a male entered the store and, after displaying a threatening note, demanded money from the store register and left on foot.

Detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad were called to the scene. While responding, Det. Crevier observed a taxi driving slowly on a local street.  A man crouched down in the back seat of the taxi as Det. Crevier pulled behind the vehicle and stopped it.

Det. Crevier conducted a record check of the taxi’s passenger which revealed that he was wanted in the city of New Britain for a bank robbery.   The suspect was detained and the cab was searched, resulting in cash recovered from the rear seat of the cab.  Also located in the taxi was clothing and other items matching the description given of the suspect.

The store clerk positively identified the suspect and a K-9 track showed that the robbery suspect traveled from the convenience store to the area where the cab had picked him up. Det. Crevier received an Outstanding Service Award.

State Troopers and Dispatchers from Troop E and Officers from the Ledyard Resident Troopers Office   On Feb. 1, 2008, State Troopers from Troop E joined a pursuit of a stolen vehicle containing two suspects who were reportedly carrying shotguns.  Upon locating the stolen car, Troopers and local police officers attempted to stop it on I-95 in Waterford. 

Effective communication from desk personnel allowed Troopers to establish a position off the right shoulder of the highway and deploy stop sticks which deflated both front tires of the suspect vehicle.  This forced the vehicle to exit the highway where it traveled less than one-half mile before being cornered by Troopers and local police.  Once the vehicle was stopped, both suspects were taken into custody.

Between the front seats of the vehicle, Troopers recovered a sawed-off shotgun, 150 shotgun shells and long plastic tie wraps, along with a second shotgun in the trunk.  Both accused later confessed that they were planning to rob a gas station in Mystic and murder someone there with the sawed-off shotgun.

The teamwork of all involved led to the arrest of two violent felons and prevented a robbery and a homicide.  All received Unit Citation Awards.

James Gould, Civilian   On November 26, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., civilian James Gould was alerted to a suspicious situation when his dog began to bark uncontrollably while outside.  Mr. Gould exited his residence in Woodstock and heard the sounds of a person yelling for help from nearby woods.  He ventured about 400 yards into the woods and observed a hunter who had fallen through the thin ice of a pond. 

Mr. Gould ran back to his residence to retrieve a cell phone and rope, then ran back to the pond to assist the hunter. While throwing the line to the hunter, Mr. Gould called 911 for help.  Mr. Gould got the rope line to the hunter and pulled him to shore as fire and EMS personnel arrived.  The hunter was suffering extreme hypothermia after being in the cold water for an extended period of time and was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. 

Mr. Gould received the Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Michael A. Lawton, Civilian  On April 3, 2009, at 12:13 p.m., Troop D received numerous 911 calls reporting a tractor trailer rollover accident on I-395 Northbound in Plainfield.  Responding State Police and fire personnel leanred that the tanker truck was carrying 6,500 gallons of gasoline and that the operator was trapped within the damaged cab. 

Prior to the arrival of rescue workers to the scene, Michael A. Lawton proceeded to the cab and found an unconscious male operator suffering from injuries and still trapped in the tractor compartment.  Mr. Lawton was warned by other bystanders of the leaking tanker and the possibility of an explosion.

Without regard for his own safety, Mr. Lawton continued his efforts to remove the operator from the tractor even though the scene was unstable.  He unbuckled the seatbelt and manually lowered the driver’s seat to reach in and lift the now-conscious operator out of the tractor cab.  Nearby witnesses helped Mr. Lawton lower the operator to the ground and to an area of safety until rescue personnel arrived.

The quick and effective response by Mr. Lawton prevented further injury and/or death to the trapped operator of this tractor trailer.  He received a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

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